A day after Finland formally announced that it will apply for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Sweden indicated this Friday (13) that it will do the same. The Swedish government delivered a report to Parliament in which it defends that the country join the western military alliance and indicates that it should present a candidacy next week.
The country’s foreign minister, Ann Linde, said her country was ready to abandon neutrality and that Sweden’s entry into NATO would stabilize conflicts in the Baltic Sea.
“Sweden’s membership of NATO would raise the threshold for military conflict and therefore have a conflict-prevention effect in northern Europe,” Linde said.
Swedish military plane and tanks on the island of Gotland, a tourist destination in the country where the government has announced an increase in the presence of the army due to threats from Russia in the Baltic Sea (Photo: Associated Press)
Since last year, Moscow has increased the military presence and exercises of its troops in the Baltic Sea, where much of the Swedish territory and the west coast of Finland and Russia have exit.
The expectation of the Swedish government is to deliver the candidacy to NATO as early as next week.
Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said on Friday he knew of the risks to his country from joining the military alliance, but said his troops “are prepared” for any retaliation from Moscow.
Two weeks ago, the Kremlin promised “unprecedented” responses if Finland and Sweden become NATO members.considered by the government of Vladimir Putin one of its main enemies today.
“If Sweden chooses to join NATO, there is a risk of a reaction from Russia. But I have to stress that we are prepared to deal with any response from them”, he declared.
Finns welcome country’s decision to apply for NATO membership
On Thursday (12), Finland formalized its intention to apply for NATO membership, which could also happen next week. The governments of the United States, Germany and France, which are already part of the military alliance, have declared that they will speed up the procedures for the country’s entry.
Finland shares a 1.3-kilometre-wide border with Russia, which has already announced strong retaliation if the two Scandinavian countries join NATO.