Swedish government announces decision to apply for NATO membership

Sweden's intention to apply for NATO membership was announced yesterday by the ruling Social Democratic Party (S/SAP). According to the country's prime minister, the government's decision is “a sign of strength in a difficult time for Sweden”

Magdalena Andersson

Sweden will soon apply for membership in the North Atlantic Alliance, the government has decided to do so. This was stated by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, reports Gotenbug-posten.

“The overwhelming majority in the Swedish Riksdag [unicameral parliament] was in favor of Sweden joining NATO”,— she said.

She says the decision is “a sign of strength at a difficult time for Sweden.”

On May 15, the ruling Social Democratic Party (S/SAP) announced the decision to apply for Sweden's accession to NATO. “The party will work to get Sweden to apply for NATO membership. Thus, the Social Democrats will seek to ensure that Sweden, in the event that the NATO application is approved, expresses unilateral reservations against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory, — stated in the statement.

On the same day, Magdalena Andersson explained that the country's neutrality “served well”, but in the future such a policy would not be useful, SVT reports. She added that she did not want Russia's actions following Ukraine to be directed against Sweden.

The Finnish government also made the decision to join NATO earlier. As President Sauli Niinistö noted, the decision was also made because of Russia's actions in Ukraine.

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The United States and most of the EU countries supported Finland and Sweden's aspirations to join NATO, while Croatia and Turkey opposed it. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that the Scandinavian countries are “a guest house for terrorist organizations.” He explained that members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, banned in Turkey, live in Sweden, the Netherlands, and are even the first to be represented in parliament.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the CSTO summit on May 16, said that the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO does not pose an immediate threat to Russia, but the expansion of military infrastructure in the territory of the Scandinavian countries “will certainly cause our response.” The Foreign Ministry previously warned that Moscow would be forced to take military-technical measures if the Scandinavian countries joined the alliance.

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