“Yes to freedom of alliance, no to NATO membership” launches a female voice in Stockholm, Sweden. After Finland, it is Sweden that should announce today its desire to join NATO, through the voice of the leader of the social democratic majority, the Prime Minister Madgalena Anderson.
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Less than three months after the start of the war in Ukraine, and after several decades of neutrality and a policy of military non-alignment, the two countries are therefore preparing to turn the page: first Finland, which must formalize this Sunday morning its candidacy for the Atlantic Alliance, and Sweden, whose power meets on Sunday May 15, 2022 with a view, again, to an application for membership. A “errorfor Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“This question divides people, it’s not good”
In the demonstrations against joining NATO in Sweden, there are representatives of the extreme left and the Greens, whose parties and organizations are against the Atlantic Alliance. But there are also these pacifist and non-aligned activists, a very important movement here. Since the war in Ukraine, he has managed to unite 28 organizations in a collective, called “No to NATO”.
“It’s been two centuries since we’ve been at war, already in 1956 it was said that the Russians were coming… We don’t trust NATO!pleads Ulf Sparboge, one of the spokespersons of the collective. It is not an organization for peace, it is an organization which acts according to the interest of the United States. We have never seen a NATO country be attacked militarily, but NATO intervened in Yugoslavia, Libya, and others. This question of NATO divides people, it is not good“.
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However, these positions are in the minority in the Nordic countries. After breaking with their neutrality in the 1990s with the end of the Cold War, by becoming partners of NATO and members of the European Union, the two Nordic countries would thus tie up a little more with the Western blocs. A shift that has taken place gradually since the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24, accelerated by a pro-NATO outbreak in public opinion in both countries.
In Finland, three quarters of the population say they are in favor of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. In Sweden, there has also been a reversal of opinion, but much less flagrant: barely half of Swedes today would like to join the Atlantic Alliance. Most NATO countries have supported Helsinki membership, except Turkey, which is threatening to block. Finland and Sweden can only be admitted to NATO after a unanimous vote of its members.