Sweden to issue position on joining NATO

The ruling Social Democratic Party of Sweden is set to issue its position on joining NATO today. The Russian invasion

Sweden will issues its position on joining NATO today

Swedish Prime Minister Andersson hall called for Sweden to reject calls for joining NATO – Photo:  TT News Agency/Jessica Gow/via Reuters

The ruling Social Democratic Party of Sweden is set to issue its position on joining NATO today.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February has led to questioning across the Swedish political spectrum of the country’s long-standing policy of military non-alignment. Without NATO membership, Swedes are concerned that the country could eventually meet the same fate as Ukraine.

In April, the Social Democrats and Parliament more broadly began reviewing Sweden’s security policy. On Thursday, Parliament briefed Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on their collective views. Four center-right parties back membership, including the rest of the opposition, except for the Left and Green parties. Public opinion polls in May show that 60% of Swedes support NATO membership—a 10% increase since April.

Considering that public support for NATO membership is growing, expect the Social Democrats and the majority of parliament to back Sweden’s application to NATO, especially with parliamentary elections coming up in September. Therefore, expect PM Andersson to reverse Sweden’s long-standing policy of military non-alignment.

Sweden will likely apply for membership during NATO’s upcoming summit in June. However, even though NATO Secretary-General Jens Soltenberg expressed fast-tracked membership for Sweden and Finland, Turkey’s opposition and calls to negotiate Sweden’s accession will likely prolong the membership process in the medium- to long-term.

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