Durbin Meets With Swedish, Finnish, Lithuanian Leaders

Expresses strong support for their nations joining NATO

WASHINGTON – Ahead of the NATO Summit in Madrid in June, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine and Baltic caucuses, met with Swedish and Finnish heads of state to discuss Russia’s continued war in Ukraine and their countries’ interest in joining NATO.  Durbin joined Senate colleagues to meet with Her Excellency Magdalena Andersson, Prime Minister of Sweden and His Excellency Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland.  In their meeting, Durbin offered his support for Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership.

Yesterday, Durbin also met with members of the Lithuanian Parliament and Lithuanian Ambassador to the U.S. Audra Plepyte to discuss efforts to bolster European security. In their meeting, they further discussed Chinese economic bullying of Lithuania and support for Belarusians struggling from freedom from their own dictator and Vladimir Putin. 

“Almost two decades ago NATO welcomed the Baltic States into the historic alliance.  These nations know all too well the importance of protecting hard won freedoms.  I hope will soon do the same to include Sweden and Finland into NATO,” said Durbin.

Photos of Durbin’s meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and President of Finland Sauli Niinistö can be found here.

Photos of Durbin’s meeting with members of the Lithuanian Parliament can be found here.

Durbin, whose mother immigrated to the U.S. from Lithuania as a child, secured a minimum, first-time $150 million authorization in the FY22 NDAA in support of the Baltic Security Initiative. This week, Durbin and Grassley advanced a resolution to celebrate 100 years of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Baltic States, expressing explicit support for Lithuania in the face of Russian aggression and Chinese economic bullying.

In 2017, Durbin traveled to Rukla, Lithuania, to visit the U.S. and German forces stationed there as part of the European Reassurance Initiative.  Earlier this year he visited the NATO base in Pabrade, Lithuania just days before Russia launched its attack on Ukraine.