Sweden to apply for NATO membership, says PM

STOCKHOLM – Sweden will apply for membership in NATO as a deterrent against Russian aggression, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Monday, reversing two centuries of military non-alignment. “The government has decided to inform NATO that Sweden wants to become a member of the alliance,” Andersson told reporters a day after neighbouring Finland made a similar announcement.

“We are leaving one era and beginning another,” she said, adding that Sweden’s NATO ambassador would “shortly” inform NATO.

Sweden and Finland have both expressed a desire to act in lockstep on NATO membership and submit their applications jointly.

“We expect it shouldn’t take more than a year” for the alliance’s 30 members to unanimously ratify Sweden’s membership application, Andersson said. The announcement was expected after her Social Democratic party on Sunday backed membership, in a dramatic turnaround after having opposed the idea since the birth of the Western military alliance. A broad majority in Sweden’s parliament is in favour of membership.

Government has decided to inform NATO that Sweden wants to become a member of the alliance, Andersson tells reporters

Denmark, Iceland and Norway “strongly welcome” Finnish and Swedish decision to apply for NATO membership  The leaders of Denmark, Iceland and Nor                way have welcomed Finland and Sweden’s decision to apply for membership of NATO.

“We strongly welcome Finland and Sweden’s decisions to apply for NATO membership,” the three nations said in a joint statement. “We note that the decisions by Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership are sovereign national decisions in line with Finland and Sweden’s right to choose their own security arrangements. Finland and Sweden have the right to pursue their accession process without any attempts of outside interference,” the statement said.



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