Swedish Foreign Minister presents NATO candidacy to Parliament for approval

"Sweden's membership in NATO would have a stabilizing effect and would benefit the countries around the Baltic Sea," said the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde, in the presentation to the Swedish Parliament of the government report on the advisability of accession to the Alliance.

Swedish Foreign Minister presents NATO candidacy to Parliament for approval

"Sweden's membership in NATO would have a stabilizing effect and would benefit the countries around the Baltic Sea," said the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde, in the presentation to the Swedish Parliament of the government report on the advisability of accession to the Alliance. The conclusion of the report, in favor of the historic step that the Finnish government also took yesterday, opens the Swedish membership application process.

"Sweden's membership in NATO would raise the threshold for military conflicts and thus have a conflict prevention effect in Northern Europe," Linde justified. That Sunday, a key meeting of the Swedish Social Democratic Party is still missing, in which the formation will change its historically reticent position towards NATO, to guarantee that the country makes the decision with a very broad political consensus.

But it is rather a last fringe from which no obstacle is expected. The accession process already has the green light from all State institutions.

Sweden is now expected to submit a formal request in a few more days, with the aim of strengthening the Nordic defensive capacity. Swedish media have speculated in recent days that a decision on the Alliance could be ready before the official visit to Stockholm on May 17 and 18 of Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist has argued that "of course it would mean a very different strategic depth, a very strong signal in security policy and a strong platform for Nordic defense cooperation within the NATO framework."

He has also stressed that he would reduce the risks in the Baltic and on the Swedish island of Gotland, a strategic island that his office has been preparing for a possible scenario of Russian aggression since January.

Hultqvist is a clear example of a Swedish politician who was characterized in the past by being a clear opponent of Sweden's entry into NATO, although this has not prevented his eight years as Minister of Defense from strengthening collaboration with that organization or politically changed his mind after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "There is a before and after February 24," he insisted.

After the Swedish Parliament debates the security situation today, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson will convene a special cabinet meeting where a formal decision to submit the application will be made. She will be sent directly after that step, assuming nothing unexpected happens.


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