20 of the 30 NATO countries have approved Finnish and Swedish membership

Finland and Sweden's NATO applications have now been ratified by two thirds of the member states, and today the US Senate will vote on the countries' accession to the alliance. This is reported by Yle.

The Senate's debate begins at 1.30 p.m. EDT (17.30 GMT and 19.30 Norwegian time).

In mid-July, a large majority in the US House of Representatives voted to approve Finnish and Swedish NATO membership.

Today, it is also expected that a large majority will agree to the incorporation of the countries. Only two or three senators will vote against, the director of Finnish Institute of International Affairs Mika Aaltola believes.