Sweden hints at NATO membership, says membership will help ward off Russian attack

Country remained neutral for 200 years; Foreign Minister said military non-alignment served well, ‘but we are in a new situation now’

Henrik MONTGOMERY / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFPsweden in nato
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde present an analysis of security policy during a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden

As was to be expected after the announcement of the Finlanda Sweden signaled this Friday, 13th, after presenting a strategic report, that it is interested in joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). According to the data presented, this decision would increase security and “raise the threshold of military conflicts and have a deterrent effect in Northern Europe”. For Foreign Minister Ann Linde, this entry would help stabilize the country and will benefit other nations around the Baltic Sea.

Although Russia did not welcome this information and at the end of April said that it would retaliate if that interest remained, Linde believes that “it will not suffer a conventional military attack in reaction to a possible NATO candidacy”, he told a press conference. The report “Deteriorating Security Environment – ​​Implications for Sweden” paves the way for Parliament’s approval of the request. Sweden’s willingness to join the Alliance adds comfort as the escalation of Ukraine’s war remains. A possible approval will make the country that has always prided itself on its neutrality reverse more than 200 years of history. Since 1809, when Finland lost to the Russian Empire, the country has assumed a neutral status. “Military non-alignment has served us well, but we are in a new situation now,” said Linde.

In addition to Russia, the Turkey it is also against Finland and Sweden joining NATO. “We don’t have a positive opinion. Scandinavian countries are like a guest house for terrorist organizations,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters, citing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered a “terrorist” group by Turkey. The head of state assured that he does not want the same mistake made with the accession of Greece to be repeated. Turkey’s reaction is the first discordant voice within NATO on the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Alliance. Since the beginning of the crisis and after the Russian invasion of UkraineTurkey has done its best to maintain good relations with the two countries, on which its economy is heavily dependent.

*With information from AFP

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