Skip to main content

tv   Officials Testify on Expanding NATO  CSPAN  June 23, 2022 12:39am-1:43am EDT

12:39 am
audible. if i can ever go to the bathroom, i won't go. i promise you i won't go anywhere, i will stay right behind these black gates. >> presidential recordings. find it on the c-span mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. >> next, a hearing on the prospect of sweden and finland joining nato following russia's invasion of ukraine. the secretary of state for european and eurasian affairs is question about sweden and finland's defenses and how the nations may serve u.s. interests.
12:40 am or with the free c-span now video app. to the united states, the overwhelming majority of europe, and indeed the entire free world are now more united and supportive not just ukraine, but of our collective resolve to support democracies, the rule of law, and defend against brazen authoritarian aggression. indeed, the very values that drove the foundation of the nato in the first place. perhaps more than ever, it is crystal clear that nato plays a vital role, not only in the security of the united states, but protecting peace and democracy. security of the united
12:41 am
states but as a bulwark protecting peace and democracy. and i feel confident when i say both the ranking member and i believe carefully considering new candidates for nato expansion is one of the most important responsibilities this committee has. so today, we will learn more about finland and sweden candidacies for nato membership. these are two steadfast nato and u.s. allies with strong durable military institutions and democratic institutions. they have every reason to participate in collective defense against russian aggression. and nato has a reason to embrace and welcomed them into the alliance without delay. in many ways, finland and sweden are ideal candidates for nato membership. nato is a defensive military alliance. designed to preserve in part by holding members to a high democratic governance and economic transparency standards. indeed, further to that point, democratic processes in both
12:42 am
countries have shown that the finnish and swedish people themselves are strongly supportive of joining nato. so while nato has not yet formally prepared at the session protocols for finland and sweden, we expect it will very soon. there is tremendous urgency and a strong case for inviting these countries. expansion of nato requires unanimous agreement by all nato member states of course. and with time of the essence, the 11th hour concerns by turkey standing in the way of this process only serve putin's interests. in the meantime, and as members prepare to meet next week in madrid, it is imperative that we press ahead with our own approval process which is why we are having this hearing today. this may very well be one of the most important decisions this committee and the senate makes in the decade and beyond as it relates to foreign policy. finland and sweden are well
12:43 am
positioned to integrate into nato. both have large technologically advanced and growing military's. they have long partnered with nato and have contributed to nato-led operations in the balkans, afghanistan and iraq. since russia's unprovoked invasion of ukraine, they have strengthened their relations with nato even further. engaging in regular dialogue and consultations, exchanging information and coordinating training exercises. in fact, given geography and history, finland and sweden have long equipped their militaries and prepared their societies for the prospect of russian aggression. their participation in nato would actively contribute to burdens sharing with the united states and the whole military alliance. belonging to nato is not just the measurement of military capability. we were established as a club of democracies that abide by a certain set of principles. all u.s. administrations have used certain criteria for
12:44 am
assistant candidates for nato membership. a functioning democratic political system based on a market economy. fair treatment of minority populations. a commitment to resolve conflicts peacefully. and ability and willingness to make military contributions to nato operations. and a commitment to democratic civil military relations. so i would like our witnesses to address how finland and sweden are fulfill these criteria. the required information the departments have already provided give me great confidence but i believe it's important to address them in an open setting. we think sweden and finland for their partnership and support. look forward to welcoming you into nato. with that, i welcome system secretary of state for european affairs, current on free. and assistant signatory of defense for international security affairs, celeste wander. and finally, it's my great pleasure to welcome ambassador's korrine -- from sweden and meco, is that
12:45 am
the renunciation? all right. from finland. here today for these hearings. we appreciate both ambassadors being here with us. probably the first out the guest that we have had so couldn't think of a better guest to have for a better cause any better moment. with that, let me turn to the ranking member of his remarks. >> thank you very much, mister chairman. it will come assistance or terry, so glad to have you here to discuss this important subject and welcome to both of you, a masters, i want to thank you personally for spending time both of you and other officials -- discussing these important issues. the ambassador from finland and i were early to the party having met on this long before the innovation occurred. but with obvious view towards the east -- the state might come. with that, let me say also that the chairman and i have discussed this matter at length between ourselves and there is no daylight between us as our
12:46 am
view of this matter either. about four months ago, russia's invasion of ukraine sent a seismic shot through the transatlantic community. and it made it abundantly clear that the assumptions many had made about security in the 24 century falls. or at least miss perceived. in and forced us to reconsider how we would restore peace and preserve it. our media response has been strong but there is no doubt nato need serious updates and reforms if we hope to face these emerging challenges over the long term. and it is going to be a long term obviously. one of these proposed changes is the illusion of our alliance to include finland and sweden. in this hearing today, i look forward to a deep into a discussion of imminence means potential succession to nato and any country that mr. corman six so -- should be able to join if they want. sweden and finland both have strong democracies and capable militaries that will contribute immediately to nato. to their participation in
12:47 am
multiple joint combat operations they, have both proven their willingness and their ability to fight alongside nato allies. through multiple nato partnerships programs that are proven their commitment to native schools and develop a highly inter operable center nato forces so let us also be clear finland and sweden prettier have been guarding nato's north high, north for decades. they have been doing the mission of nato from the outside. this has been an acid to nato and transatlantic security. it's fair that they be allowed to finally sit at the table with everyone else. with this hearing the, senate will take its first official step in considering this next wave of nato enlargement. throughout this entire process, we must remember to take the utmost care as we examine the details and implications of this decision. in my mind, both countries have fully demonstrated their worth ministers are nato and the value that each will bring to it. but we cannot leave any room for doubt about their place and commitment in our alliance. i also want to reiterate my expectation that once north
12:48 am
carolina counselor grievances of the succession protocols, the biden administration will see swiftly prepare the final reports and submit everything to the senate quickly so we can begin our consideration. in closing, when we say racing the, addressing the issue that the chairman also raised regarding turkey's remarks about not being in favor of -- at this time. we're told, a short of both sweden and finland that they have been in good faith involved with turkey and discussions to resolve that. i think that's best left to them between they and third key without us at this point in time. but let there be no mistake. this must be done. this is so important, it must be done. so with that, mister chairman, i yield back thank you. thank you, senator. we will start with our witnesses, both of your statements will be included fully in the record without
12:49 am
objection. the secretary, through you, we will start with you. we ask you to summarize both in about five minutes or so. this where we can have a conversation with you, the floor is yours. >> thank you so much. chairman menendez, ranking member rich, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the critical role nato plays and our security and the safeguarding of our democratic values. finland and sweden's future place in the alliance. i welcome the opportunity to share with you today. unequivocally supports finland and sweden membership in nato. we strongly support nato's open door policy, and firmly believe that these two countries membership in the alliance would benefit the national security of the united states and strengthened the collective defense of nato and the broader
12:50 am
security of the euro atlantic region. as president biden said, when he welcomed finished president, missed oh, and swedish prime minister, anderson, to the white house last month, we are proud to offer the strong support of the united states to the application of two great democracies and to close, highly capable partners, to join the strongest most powerful defensive alliance in the history of the world. and quote. likewise, i want to think the more than 80 senators who signaled their full support for sweden and finland's application for nato membership in a letter to the president. as well as the bipartisan senate resolution, 646, in support of their nato accession. this provides another endorsement for the strong and capable democracies. the administration has provided reports to congress on finland and sweden secession as called
12:51 am
for in the senate resolution of ratification of the nato accession protocols for poland, hungary and the czech republic. russia's unprovoked february 24th full scale invasion of ukraine caused a seismic change in both swedish and finish public support for nato membership. each country carried out inclusive and thorough democratic processes, leading to the decision to apply for nato membership. in a historic foreign security policy shift, finland and sweden together officially applied for nato membership on may 18th. since its inception, nato's goal is to achieve a lasting peace in the north atlantic area, through collective security based on the common values of democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty. as advanced democracy, that uphold the rule of law, and rule leaders and protecting and promoting global human rights, then lent in sweden would strengthen nato as an alliance of values and expand the circle
12:52 am
of north american and european democracies committed to defending each other. the united states has closed bilateral defense relationships with both finland and sweden, and has built robust cooperation and inoperable idiot with these two countries through exercises and presence in the baltic sea region and elsewhere. in addition, finland and sweden both are already active in nato political dialogues, exercises and operations and are highly inter operable with nato. since russia's further invasion of ukraine in february, finland and sweden have drawn even closer through enhanced political dialogue and sharing of information with the alliance. the two countries began cooperating with nato in 1994, through the partnership for peace program. in 2014, finland and sweden were granted enhanced opportunities partner status, which affords partners the closest level of cooperation short of being a member.
12:53 am
sweden is participating in nato missions since 1995, including in afghanistan, iraq, kosovo and libya. shared cyber defense information is home to a world-class defense industry and is steadily increasing defense spending with a stated goal of reaching 2% of gdp as soon as possible. finland is contributing to nato missions in afghanistan, bosnia and herzegovina, iraq and kosovo, and will spend 2.1 6% of its gdp on defense in 2022. in 2026, offended will receive the first of its 65 f 35 ayes from its 12 billion dollar deal. the largest national procurement in finland's history. one that will give finland a significant military capability increase in -- and other nato allies. and have a positive economic impact on both the u.s. and finish economies. both countries will enhance
12:54 am
nato's situation of awareness and capabilities in the high north. in short, i concur with wet you both and many other senators have said already, nato enlargement that includes finland and sweden would further bolster the alliance. they would be net providers of security and nato and would enhance the national security interests of the united states. turkey has raised concerns about some of finland and sweden's policies in advance of nato accession. we recognize turkey's legitimate concerns regarding terrorism which nato secretary general, stoltenberg, has also highlighted. we encourage stop and and helsinki to address the security concerns of all allies and urge the alliance to reach a consensus on the -- we are confident sweden and finland would be net contributors to the alliance, and their membership would bolster the security of every nato member. thank you so much.
12:55 am
>> thank you, secretary. >> it's on. it's automatic. >> chairman menendez, ranking member rich, and members of the committee. it is an honor to appear before you today, alongside assistant secretary, don freed, to -- wavering support for nato membership for the republic of finland and the kingdom of sweden. thank you for holding this important hearing. this historic moment builds on the positive relationship that the department of defense enjoys with ministries of defense and arms forces of both finland and sweden. d.o.d. strongly assesses that the membership of both sweden and finland would be an asset to the north atlantic treaty, as a values based organization for defense and security.
12:56 am
both countries and maintain a high degree of interoperability and cooperation with nato, and our capable military partners whose values align closely with that of the united states. a few key points on each of these nato aspirants. on finland, general conscription, a well manned and trained reserve, a strong willed defend the country are the foundations of finland's defense. finland's location on the bulk of the sea, diplomatic experience with russia and advanced capabilities make it an asset to the alliance. finland spends more than 2% of its gdp on defense, and has unique capabilities and expertise. particularly operating in the arctic environment. as a democracy, and market economy, finland's foreign policy is under pinned by a commitment to, and the promotion of democracy, individual freedom and rule of
12:57 am
law. finland is a modern, highly industrialized democratic country with one of the highest standards of living in the world. the country has a well educated and media savvy population, making it citizenry and institutions resilient to misinformation and malign influence, while serving as a model to others. in particular, finland would augment nato's capacity for defending critical infrastructure, operating in the cyber domain and strengthening individual and collective resilience. finland first participated in a nato-led operation in 1996, and became a nato enhanced opportunities partner in 2014. it has contributed to, or otherwise supported nato missions in afghanistan, bosnia and herzegovina, iraq and kosovo. the semifinished defense forces comprise a total -- and strength of 280, 000, with
12:58 am
900,000 trained individuals trained for military service. unlike other european countries, finland has maintained a general prescription bottle for defense. it allows finland to rapidly call up its reserve force -- on sweden, sweden -- swedish succession for -- the first rate and rapidly growing military with a principle foreign policy that defends democracy and human rights. sweden is both a highly capable military partner and home to a world-class defense industry. its military expertise antarctic and undersea environments would substantially advance alliance capabilities. sweden already maintains a high degree of interoperability and cooperation with nato, having become a nato partnership for peace member in 1994 and a nato
12:59 am
enhanced opportunities partner for 2014. sweden has -- supported nato mission in afghanistan, bosnia and herzegovina, iraq, bosnia and kosovo. -- the strengthening of the baltic sea area, which remains an active area for russian military activity and accelerate regional maritime and air domain awareness. our bilateral defense relationship currently focuses on deepening interoperability, enhancing sweden's defense capabilities, building regional air and -- -- and aligning strategic communications. sweden has a bank knowledge level of competency in crisis resilience and can preparedness that distinguishes it among leaders of therapy nations. the department of defense is confident that the accession -- sweden to nato will have a
1:00 am
positive effect on the alliances military effectiveness, based on sweden's defense capabilities support of u.s. allied actions in multiple theaters and expectations that will be able to contribute available availabilities to -- finland and sweden are ready for nato membership. their accession will provide additional security and stability in europe, they already have close bilateral defense relationships with the united states, close working relationships in military interoperability with nato, as enhanced opportunity partners, and are thriving democracies that share our values and fit the ideals of the north atlantic treaty. thank you for the opportunity to testify, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you both for a very comprehensive testimony. we have votes going on the floor, as the chair's intention to just continue through and rotate to somebody presiding so we can get through the hearing. let me start with you,
1:01 am
secretary walter. some of this you both have referred to, but i just want to detail the record. is it accurate to say that finland and sweden have large technologically advanced militaries? both have long partnered with nato, contributing to nato operations including in the balkans and afghanistan. also, understand that both countries, either meet or have plans to meet the 2% of nato spending benchmark? >> yes senator, that is accurate. >> since russia's illegal invasion of ukraine, popular support for joining nato in finland and sweden, and for governments commitments to nato have grown significantly. secretary donfried, you speak to attitudes to joining nato in those countries have changed and where they stand today on the subject? >> yes. i agree with your analysis. february 24th, fundamentally change the perspective of both finland and sweden. we saw finland very decisively make a decision then to move on nato membership, and sweden
1:02 am
shortly joined finland in that membership aspiration. and i think, you know, it's interesting. a colleague of mine works for the european union. has talked about family february 24 as europe's 9/11. and i think, for many europeans, it was unthinkable before february 24, that russia would undertake a full skill brutal, unprovoked evasion of its neighbor in the ukraine. that action fundamentally shifted security perspectives. i agree with you, that is how to understand the change in public opinion that we've seen in both countries. the strong support for nato membership. respect for human rights commitment to transparency rule of law democracy our values that nato member share. and which are important to look at in the assessing candidates for nato membership. assistant attorney donfried can speak to have and sweden's of
1:03 am
meadows value? >> i would be happy to do so and when we're talking about finland's sweden or talking about two of our closest partners. and one of the fundamental things that unites us is our respect for democracy and human rights. and if you look at sweden, there is so many examples that we could point to. one would be sweden's one osc chairperson ship in 2021 where they play an important invisible wall on so many issues. ukraine already at that time, belarus, -- and transmit syria. and sweden brought to all of these conflicts it's deep commitment to global democracy and human rights. we also see gender equality as a fundamental aim of the swedish foreign policy. and we also see sweden as having been an active contributor to last december's summit for democracy. where sweden co-hosted a side event on women's economic
1:04 am
empowerment. i think there is no question that sweden is deeply committed to advancing democracy, human rights and the rule of law. and will do so also in its upcoming presidency of the european council. of the european union in 2023. and then if we shift our attention to finland, finland to in all of its foreign policy has shown a deep commitment to promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. vindman's emphasize the importance of the rule space international system to collectively resolve world's most pressing global challenges. finland too has been a leader in international forum. whether it is the number of fans in the un system and other key international organizations, whether it is promoting democracy in the osce, in the human rights council. and i believe that we will see finland continue to cooperate strongly with the united states with the eu and it will bring
1:05 am
that sensibility to nato membership. >> secretary, wilder finland has a -- opposing russian military offenses and sweden has a well equipped fighting force. could you confirm that enlarging nato to include finland and sweden will reduce the burdens including defense burden on the united states rather than increase them? >> senator, membership in nato of sweden and finland would enhance the capabilities of the nato alliance on both the ground air and sea domain and in new domains of importance including the cyber domain and combatting russian maligned influence in the area of disinformation. and both countries bring strong economies and strong democratic support for defense funding. so the department of defense sees no negatives in the membership of sweden and finland on burden sharing or on the capabilities of the
1:06 am
alliance. >> thank, you congress has a long bipartisan track record of support for baltic security. as well as more generally robust offensive nato's eastern flank. how would sweden and finland's membership in nato affect our security impostor in the eastern part of the alliance? >> we've already seen in just last month the potential of an approved enhanced capability of nato from the membership of sweden and finland with participation in the -- exercise which is vital for the ability of nato alliance to enhance the security in the baltic region where russia's active often irresponsible in his military presence already ball toss has benefited from swedish and finished participation as partners by having a higher degree of inter operability integration from members of the alliance. with further support those
1:07 am
kinds of planning and exercises. >> finally, secretary donfried, even though we don't yet have techs of succession protocols. all nato accession protocols are substantively identical. and we are well positioned to assess the candidate of finland and sweden, even prior from the signature of the protocols. would you say that that's your understanding as well as early suppression calls my understanding is that once the session protocols are signed we would then urge the senate early opportunity to provide advice and consent. >> i am strongly supportive of the session and it will work to both with the ranking member through the committee on the floor to get this ratified senator reich i'm gonna ask senator cain to preside so i can do about thank you. >> thank you, mister chairman. first of all, i think we've had a really good robust discussion here and one of the reasons it's because we're already all but expecting this. and as chairman just pointed out, i wrote a letter two weeks
1:08 am
ago, maybe three weeks ago now to both the white house and state. directing your attention to the fact that this was coming down the pipe pretty quickly. and to start work on it. can you give us any kind of a timeframe, you talked about as early as possible. how quickly can you get that material to us, i guess, is the question i would have. >> so the accession protocols, what's happening now is was already mentioned is there's a conversation happening among turkey, finland and sweden. and the decision within nato is the consensus decision and turkey has raised some concern relating to terrorism and the approach of sweden and finland. of course, the united states along with turkey shares a desire to end the scourge of terrorism and we'll take this very seriously. my understanding is these conversations are moving at a pace they're happening among those four countries poll we
1:09 am
saw this week is that nato secretary general, yen sullenberger, also invited the parties to have a conversation that he mediated. that was on monday, winner sandal was constructive. so we are confident that there will be progress here and that will allow the accession protocols to be signed and the ratification prosecutor me forward. >> are you -- in madrid next week? >> yes sir, i am. >> again, i come back to timewise. we all want to work as quickly as possible. can you give us, let's assume that we get this one wrinkle ironed out next week. how quickly can we expect to see something here in the senate? >> i think to use your term, ranking member reich, once that wrinkle is ironed out, i think you would move immediately. >> that's important. i think you indicated about consensus.
1:10 am
by the work instances, to human unanimously essentially? >> yes. >> so we have a clear understanding of that. that's clear and as you've heard from the chairman and i, we are all in on this and we want this to happen as rapidly as possible. it's something that will be a great addition for nato, for the north atlantic and appreciate your work on this and with that i'm going to yield back, mr. chairman mr. acting chairman. >> mr. acting chairman. thank you, mr. ranking. and to our witnesses and others. i actually, excuse me, do we have either anyone on by webex right now? that means am next. i want to think actually chairman menendez and ranking member risch, apropos of this discussion. the committee, this committee acted in the last couple of months on a resolution i have with senator rubio to make clear that no president of the
1:11 am
united states can withdraw from nato without congressional approval. the constitution is silent about exceeding treaties, it's very clear but entering treaties. two thirds and a vote is needed. it squarely within the jurisdiction of this committee and the chair and ranking had a markup on this and passed over the committee. they gave me permission clearance to try to get it out to the annual defense authorizing bill which we passed out of the committee last week overwhelmingly. but because saskatoon not consider matters in the jurisdiction of another committee even with the agreement of the chair and ranking wasn't able to get added. i was trying to get added because i thought it was sent overly powerful signal about congressional support for nato. on the verge of this next in a meeting. but we can have another opportunity. -- there's >> there's other ways of doing that we will look for other ways to do it but i just want to thank the chairman for being willing to let us try to
1:12 am
in the armed services bill, will look for another way. one of the things that i think is interesting about sweden and finland and we've talked about their respect of capacities, economic strength, work together with the united states in the past. is the fact that on these defense matters, they also have a really significant cooperation among them. so we're not just getting two different new allies, you're getting two allies that have a significant capacity but that also do a lot together. and the fact that they would both approach this nato membership together is also interesting to me. talk a little bit about the long term defense and diplomatic relationship between sweden and finland because i think that actually brings in additional elements of the table as we consider nato accession for the two countries. >> i'm happy to start -- and you can weigh in as well. so i think you are observational is on point. and it is striking how closely finland and sweden to cooperate in the security in the fence
1:13 am
area. and interestingly, we saw finland be the first to announce this intention to seek nato membership and then sweden followed. but if you look at public opinion in sweden, you saw about a 10% point jump when the finns announced their commitment to pursuing this. and i think that takes your point of how joined up these two countries are when they think about their own security. and it also relates to how current nato member states see this. there is a question earlier about the -- and it's interesting because if finland and sweden or win finland and sweden join nato, the baltic literal with the exception of the russian coast on the gulf of finland and -- would be allied territory. which enables nato to better monitor activity and planned the defense of the entire vital region.
1:14 am
so you've seen the baltic foreign minister state publicly that they and nato will benefit from finland and sweden strong military capabilities. so i think you see that benefit both on the diplomacy side and on the military side. over to you. >> secretary wallander -- >> yes, finland and sweden bring that only a common advantages as strong potential allies. but have through their own complimentary capabilities works together, worked to participate in nato lead or simply multinational exercises and really constructive ways. or give you a couple of examples. one's finland obviously has a very strong territorial defense capability. very important for a country with over 800 mile border with russia and an experience of fighting the soviet union in the 1930s. and doing so effectively. and sweden has been, has
1:15 am
essential capabilities in the maritime domain. and has carefully monitored russian maritime and air activity over the baltic. and sweden also has participated in bilateral programs and cooperation with the united states in the area of special operations forces as well. so the two potential allies, aspirant allies bring similar strengths in their democracies and their market economies and their strengths as european countries. and they each bring their complimentary military capabilities that will further strengthen the nato alliance. >> that's excellent. secretary don free, don't ask your question. you said that some of your colleagues in your -- europe have described this moment, february 24 a target ukraine as europe's 9/11. and i'm pretty sure i know what you mean by that but i kind of want to dig into it further. people who aren't spending a lot of time in europe and one of the european reality might think oh but finland and sweden,
1:16 am
they're quite a ways away from ukraine. so why would they view an attack on ukraine as the equivalent of a 9/11 style attack on europe. so just dig into that a little bit more. i think i know what you mean but i think it would be important that this testimony out there. >> thank you for the question. i will tell you how i heard it in fairness to the individual who said it. but the way i heard it was just the sense of shock. that russia in 2022 would undertake this full scale unprovoked, unjustified brutal invasion of its neighbor ukraine. and of course in the first instance, that has tragic implications for ukraine and i think we've all been inspired by the bravery of the ukrainians and meeting that challenge and their resilience. but it also fundamentally alters the european security landscape. and so that's how i understood it. that every country in europe
1:17 am
recalculated its own assessment of its security and i think finland and sweden in so doing, whereas in the past they always believe their security interest for best served by having a nato partnership. but not being members. that changed almost overnight. so that was how i understood the comment. >> thank you very much for that. this is one where in the my ten years here, i've never seen a bigger golf between the united states and our european allies. on our predictions about what was going to happen. we shared the hopes for what would happen or wouldn't happen and we were sharing the same side effects upon which to make a prediction. but i agree, i think there was a degree and i constantly understand of wishful thinking as somewhat derogatory phrase. a deep hope that of course force is not going to invade. it's a muscle flexing exercise. but when it became a reality, which months of u.s. until was saying it was going to become a reality, i can see that caused this kind of continent wide
1:18 am
recalibration as you described. >> i shouldn't lump all of your together, i want to be clear, i do think there are differences in perception across the european continent. just be clear. don't mean to say we're all -- >> i hear you. there being no senators on webex now, senator hagerty, you're up next. >> thank you very much. into our witnesses here today, assistant secretaries donfried and wallander, welcome to you thank you for being here to discuss an important top arriving strengthened nato alliance. i'd like to take you back to my service as the most impossible to japan. there are spent a tremendous amount of my time and effort in increasing the capabilities of the u.s. japan alliance on the military front, trying to ensure that the agility, the interoperability, and the overall military capability would be maximized for our combined forces. i worked a very often with then prime minister abe on this topic. it's about a current ambassador emanuel as he works with and
1:19 am
prime minister khurshid are in the same arena. it's very important. upfront i'd like to say that -- and sweden's accession into nato because their addition would be acquitted to the overall abilities of the alliance, and i appreciate. that but does the united states of dances is nato policy in the 44 center i think it's going to be important to get back to the basics. and there, i, mean in the very first instance nato is a military alliance that needs to focus on deterring military threats with real militarily capabilities. and the last years demonstrated as anything, is that the nato alliance must stand stronger to better kerr deter russia's military threat to us and our allies and so my first question will be to you, assistant secretary walter. when will sweeten flynn respectively meet the goals of spending 2% of gdp on the difference? but i know the kremlin's close to sweeten, but both are on track. when i think what's going to be the cause? >> it's a great question, senator endemic i share your
1:20 am
commitment to make sure that nato allies are contributing to the security of the lights. finland, already in 22, does between just 2% for. from nonsense defenceman is a 2.2 of gdp -- >> this is projected for 2022. >> this is for 2022. and sweden's government has committed to meeting to 2% pledge as soon as possible and no later than 2028. and i would note also that sweden meets the nato, unless sighted but no less important nato standard of spending at least 20% of its defense budget on acquisition of capabilities. >> i'm at with readers ambassador recently and she told me no encouraging terms that she would do everything they could to accelerate appliances progress was at. also thanks for that. >>'s assistance or do water, you also spoke with senator kaine about some of the current capabilities that relied and sweden will contribute to the alliance. can you give me a sense of what you like to see them develop developed for the future?
1:21 am
>> well, certainly one of the hopes it would be that both countries would contribute and i believe will contribute to the battle groups on the eastern flank, the eight eastern front countries of nato and -. finland and sweden both have strong bilateral relationship with the body companies and three in particular. finland and sweden can become not just strong defense partners our allies of the alliance, but strong contributors as those countries face russian aggression right on the button. >> i hope to work to guide their strategies in that direction, and i look forward to the contributions. i want to sum up though, with you, secretary wallander if. your testimony today that i presume that is the defense -- having three not front to the major nato alliance will indeed strengthen nato's capabilities and therefore the deterrence capability. >> yes, senator, that's the defense assessment. >> thank you sir. i would like to turn to you, assistant secretary of.
1:22 am
support eddie's win in front of the nato alliance. but outlaws also like to ask you about some important things that the united states should be doing to frankly define russia's military aggression. the biden administration's engine policies are purposely helped to fund women's war machine in ukraine. do you dispute the facts or the assessment at least that despite international sanctions on vladimir putin's regime has earned nearly 100 billion dollars from energy exports from the first 100 days of russia's unprovoked and unjustified invasion of ukraine? >> well senator hagerty, thank you for that question and from what i would say is i think it's a complicated equation because what we've seen is that as more russian oil is going on for the market we're also seeing that russia has declining oil profits as a result of being forced to sell its oil at deep discounts. so there's a calculation about what is the discounted price of that russian oil, and then how
1:23 am
does that affect the scarcity of stoplights. >> actually what's happened is there has been a windfall that has come to russia. do you accept the fact that oil and gas markets are global markets? >> yes, they are. >> and all of the things being equal if the united states were actually to wrap up his island gas production, with the increase to energy supplies actually lower the global price of energy? >> in an increase of andrew such supply should reduce -- >> its certainly should. and if you think about russia's energy exports, they made up half of russia's budget, more than half of their budget, before the windfall that's coming to the marketplace took place and is that it is a price increase actually helpful or hurtful to vladimir putin and? >> increases helpful. but if you have a good challenge for some russian oil, because of the sanctions, that is what has forced some press decline on russian oil in particular. >> so there are some reports that russia has actually had a massive increase in his
1:24 am
revenues from oil sales just in the first five months of this year. it's all sales are up close to 100 billion dollars. that's more than enough in fact almost one and a half times its annual military budget. so in effect we are inadvertently finding vladimir putin's war machine. that's the point of trying to make. and i want to encourage you to please take the message back home that when president biden decided to wage the war on fossil fuels here in america, it has a global impact. and that global impact not only hurts american consumers here at home, but it also is hurting the brave ukrainians that are trying to fight right now because they are also a casualty code for president biden's -- >> the thomas center has expired. i just wanted to acknowledge i've given him a significant time of the time. thank you, mister chairman and, i hope this will change. >> thank you. senator cardin. >> thank you very much, mister chairman. i was watching part of the hearing on webex, and of course, we were interacted by votes. but let me first thank our
1:25 am
witnesses for their work, as has been already demonstrated in this hearing, there is strong support for nato expansion in finland and sweden that we recognize there is a process we go through and we also recognize as, you've already pointed out, is that all nato members have to agree and you want to give space to for turkey to be able to have the conflict conversations that it needs with the aspirant countries. we all appreciate that, but we certainly urge that we have to make sure that that's constructive and timely and we would hope that our leadership would help provide that type of accommodation so that those calm accommodations take place but they do or not unnecessarily delay the considerations of their entry into nato. i want to sort of follow up on the impact that this is having on russia's calculation, mr.
1:26 am
putin's calculation. he's obviously watching very closely what's happening with sweden and finland. it's also watching what's happening with the european union and their invitations in regards to moldova and ukraine. and can you just tell us how you feel these expansions, whether it be eu or nato, would affect mr. putin's calculations in regards to his aspirations for a greater russia? >> well let me start on the defense and military side. the accession of finland and sweden to nato would significantly complicate russian military planning for any kind of military operations against nato by doubling the length of russia's front border with nato allies and by
1:27 am
strengthening nato allied capabilities in the baltics sea reason region and in the arctic high north. so there is no question that the succession of finland and sweden is something that is not welcome in moscow, as it plans for a hostile relationship with nato. nato is a defensive alliance, but the russian military would have to take this into account. and i would simply also note that for 20 years russia has sought to divide the nato alliance on multiple issues, sought to fracture it in order to paralyze it diplomatically and militarily. and the strength with which, and of the public and political strength of the desire to accede to nato by both finland and sweden has further strengthened the alliance and has shown to the family kremlin
1:28 am
that its efforts to weaken the airlines have not only failed but have actually reverberated negatively. >> and if i could just make two quick comments in response to the question, senator cardin, first in -- your question on the impact of russia's calculation, the irony here is that vladimir putin said one of the reasons he was engaging in this brutal assault on ukraine was his concern about nato getting too close to russia's borders. well, what a miscalculation, what a strategic miscalculation! if that was his concern, he now has finland with an 830 mile border with russia and sweden saying they want to join nato. so that's quite striking. and second point is, of course, we are concerned also about the security of finland and sweden in this interval between their application and assertion accession. so we are confident that we and our allies are well positioned
1:29 am
to help these two countries address their security needs and any concerns that they might have in this interim period. and president biden said on the 18 may intent, that while their applications for nato membership or being considered, the united states will work closely with both countries to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security and to deter and confront aggression or the threat of aggression. as has already already been mentioned, we exercise regularly together in the baltics sea region and the u.s. military originally maintains presence in the vicinity of both countries. so we feel that we are also being vigilant during this interim period. >> let me just make one comment. we are today concerned about the expansion as relates to finland and sweden. but we also need to be concerned that other forces in the black sea, russia clearly is interested in dominating the black sea. and with ukraine being compromised by the russian
1:30 am
presidents it even makes it more urgent for us to shore up nato's capacity within the black sea. i just mentioned that because i think we need to look at that as the next chapter of our challenges in regards to national security threats. thank you, mister chairman. >> thank you. senator joe -- . >> thank you, mister chairman. thank you for both of you here, thank you for your service. that just for the record, president biden has been calling on all refineries in the united states to increase their capacity. in fact, the other day, he said he's looking at the defense production act as a potential tool to push that in the right direction. so i am a stronger believer that having a both sweden and finland as part of the main nato allies would be good for the lights and good for those countries. they are both democracies and they both believe in the rule of law. we already have strong security partnerships and the would be great additions in my view to
1:31 am
the nato alliance. so my question to you, assistant secretary donfried, we have the madrid conference coming up. what is the likelihood that will be in a position to offer a formal invitation to sweden and finland to join the alliance at the upcoming madrid conference? >> well thank you, senator van hollen for, that question. so what's been happening is that turkey, which has expressed its concerns about in particular switches and finish stances with regard to fight against terrorism, has been engaged in conversations with finland and sweden to find a resolution to their concerns and. this week we saw the nato secretary general help in mediating that conversation. on monday there were meetings among those parties which we heard were quite constructive. and so, we are confident that this will be resolved in a positive way. there is broad and deep support across the nato alliance for
1:32 am
finnish and swedish accession. so we are hopeful that we will soon achieve a positive resolution. >> well, look, i'm hopeful as well and i'm glad to hear the talks are coming along. but let's be clear on what we mean by turkey's so-called concerns about sweden and finisher positions in the fight against terrorism. we are specifically talking about president erdogan's concerns about support for the sdf and elements of the sdf, right? >> so, it is a concern in, the first instance, about the pkk, which we all recognize is a terrorist organization, and then your right, it has to do with those pkk affiliated groups. >> but just typically, sweden already has a lot on the books that recognizes or identifies the pkk as a terrorist organization, correct? >> yes. >> so they're in line with the united states and most of our other partners.
1:33 am
and isn't it the case that the united states has been a strong partner with the sdf in the fight against isis? >> yes. >> right. so, just to be clear, i mean, we want to work this out, but we should make it clear to president erdogan that they're criticizing sweden and finland for taking actions that -- the united that the united united states government has taken. president erdogan was also wants to extradite -- >> >> we're a country that recognizes the role of. what so does sweden and finland. and again, we've had concerns that the deployment of russian, you know, as for hundreds by turkey and have taken action in this committee and the congress. so, i am, i want to, amen, support the ongoing talks, but let's recognize i. think. that the positions that sweden and him finland have taken are pretty much on the same page
1:34 am
with the passage and the united states has taken with respect to the sdf. and the very important fight against isis and terrorism. so, sweden and finland have been, in my view, on the right side, in that fight against isis. so can you just lay out what you see is the timeline? again, whether your you believe that will be successful and getting everybody on the same page, including turkey, by the time the madrid conference comes around. >> i will say that we certainly are pushing for that. >> all right. i'm going to end their. i think we all recognize what the challenges here. i think we want to make sure these are comes short of talks. sweden and finland have already taken measures in response to turkey's concern, isn't that correct? >> that is correct. finland and sweden of engaging for concertedly's talks and they've been forward leaning in terms of being responsive to the concerns raised.
1:35 am
>> and sweden, i understand it, and in their arms embargo against turkey. is that right? >> that is correct. >> got it. all right, well thank you both. i think we'd all like to see for the good of the alliance and make sure we send a strong signal to putin that what he's doing is an attack on democracy, on the rule of law. and i would hate to see this moment which she described would underscore the fact that putin's invasion of ukraine is a strategic failure because it actually encouraged sweden and finland to join this defensive alliance. i would hate to see that moment squandered because of an inability to address the issues that we're talking about today. thank you, mister chairman. >> thank you. let me just echo senator van hollen's bit of frustration.
1:36 am
about the comments we make about turkey, sweden and finland as it relates to urging them to work together. you know, as the secretary don freed, i have the opportunity to speak to the chief of missions this morning. all of our ambassadors around the world and several others, i know you are there. i'm not constrained by the constraints maybe you all feel you have at the state department. i believe you call out whoever is wrong on something. and if there are multiple parties are wrong, you call out multiple parties. but as secretary van halen has said, secretary, there's a possibility in the future. as senator van hollen has said, the reality is that finland and sweden are aligned with our own policies as it relates to the -- sdf. and you know, and our fight
1:37 am
against isis. it is a little disingenuous to suggest we urge all parties for together, of course would be great for the multi together and come to a conclusion. i don't know what turkey is trying to extract from them. but at the end of the day, that's what this is about. and maybe if we get in the game, the want to extract from us to which i will be vehemently opposed to we. don't need for any extraction to take place or any concessions to take place to have two great democracies join nato. but having said that, i just think for the record it's one of the things that for 30 years, doing foreign policy, irks me about the state department. regardless of which administration is in. that we call upon all parties to do something when not all parties are responsible at the end of the day for the conflict that we have with the issue that we have where the problem that we have. i've extended time here to i
1:38 am
know there are some members who had an interest. there is no member presently before me either in on virtually or in the committee. so with the thanks of the committee for your participation and for your insights, this record will remain open to the close of business tomorrow and this hearing is adjourned.
1:39 am
announcer: c-span's washington journal. every day we are taking your calls live on the air on the news of the day. and we will discuss policy issues that impact you. thursday morning, an indiana republican congressman discusses health in the u.s. then a talk about the legislation on gun safety. and efforts by the biden administration to increase oil production and reduce gas prices. watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. each morning on c-span or c-span now, our new mobile app. join washington journal for our special six part series on landmark legislation, every sunday, starting this week at 9 a.m. eastern
1:40 am
we talk about landmark legislation that shaped america including the highway act, the immigration and reform control act of 1986, the americans with disabilities act of 1990, and the no child left behind act of 2001. announcer: here is a look at what is coming up on the c-span networks. at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span, the house returns, lawmakers take up in lgbtq plus bill that would require federal surveys to include voluntary questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. on c-span two at 10 a.m., senators continue work on bipartisan legislation to combat gun violence. they will vote to limit debate on the bill at 11:30 a.m., requiring the support of at
1:41 am
least 60 senators. at 10 a.m. on c-span three, the federal reserve chair testifies about the u.s. economy and efforts to curb rising inflation. at 3 p.m., live coverage of the january 6 committee as it examines alleged efforts by donald trump to pressure the justice department to challenge the 2020 presidential election results. former acting attorney general jeffrey rosen is among the witnesses. everything also streams live at, or the free c-span now video app. announcer: now available at the c-span shop, the 2022 congressional directory. order a copy of the director, this compact book is your guide to the federal government with contact information for every member of con -- congress. contact information for governors and the cabinet. order your copy today at
1:42 am every purchase helps support c-span's nonprofit operation. up next, president biden calls on congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months. he urges states and gas companies to provide consumers relief at the pump. up next, president biden calls on congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months. he also urges states and gas companies to provide relief at the pump.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on