Sweden and Finland move closer to joint NATO bid

The Social Democratic Party in power in Sweden gave the green light to a candidacy for NATO on Sunday, May 15, thus paving the way for a request for membership by the government, jointly with Finland. At an extraordinary meeting on Sunday, the leadership decided that the party would “contribute to Sweden’s candidacy for NATO”explain the Social Democrats in a press release, thus reversing the line of always.

The party specifies, however, that it is opposed to the installation of permanent NATO bases and nuclear weapons on Swedish territory, which is not required to join the alliance. An internal consultation had revealed divisions within the party, with critical voices denouncing in particular a too hasty decision, in order to follow the Finnish calendar. But the green light from the party leadership was still awaited.

Finland hails ‘historic day’

With the change of party line, a clear majority in favor of NATO is now assured in Parliament. The right was already in favor of joining the alliance and the extreme right of the Democrats of Sweden (SD) was also in favor of membership if it is done jointly with Finland. A bid with Finland is the “better for Sweden”Prime Minister and leader of the Social Democrats Magdalena Andersson commented at a press conference in Stockholm.

Earlier, Finland had announced its candidacy to NATO. “It’s a historic day. A new era is dawning”, said Finnish President Sauli Niinist√∂ when announcing in Helsinki the decision of the Finnish executive to apply for membership. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a dramatic leap in public opinion in favor of NATO in Sweden and Finland. The two countries had been out of military alliances for decades.

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>> Finland’s desire to join NATO: “It’s a failure” for Vladimir Putin, says a geopolitical scientist

An entry into NATO of the two Nordic countries, seen with a very bad eye by Moscow, would be proof that“an agression” like the invasion of Ukraine “don’t pay”said the secretary general of the western alliance, Jens Stoltenberg.

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