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Sweden Breaks Tradition: Officially Joins NATO, Ending Neutrality Era

Sweden Joins NATO Ending Neutrality

Sweden became the 32nd member of NATO on Thursday, nearly two years after submitting its application to the military alliance.

On Thursday, the Swedish government announced that it would be holding a special meeting to vote on joining NATO, following approval from all current members of the military alliance.

Later on Thursday, the news was officially confirmed by NATO through a statement from Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who mentioned that the country was now part of the organization.

Sweden joining NATO strengthens the organization, enhances Sweden’s security, and bolsters the overall security of the Alliance. He expressed anticipation for raising their flag at NATO HQ on Monday.

Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of Sweden, visited Washington, D.C. this week to deliver the last set of paperwork. Not shortly after Russia started its war on Ukraine in May 2022, the nation submitted its first application to join NATO. This represented a dramatic departure from Sweden’s long-standing, pre-Napoleonic policy of military nonalignment.

Last April, Finland officially joined NATO, partly in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine. After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, authorities in both Helsinki and Stockholm decided that their nations were no longer safe on their own. As a result, they applied to join the alliance a few months later.

Two NATO members, Hungary and Turkey, postponed Sweden’s accession process until this year when they finally voted in favor of it. All current members need to agree on the admission of a new country to the alliance, which operates on the principle that an assault on one member is considered an assault on all members.

The governing party in Hungary, under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has been against Sweden’s NATO membership due to Sweden’s criticism of Hungary’s democracy. The leaders of both nations gathered in Budapest, Hungary, last month and pledged to resolve their differences, expressing a strong bond.

Meanwhile, Turkey approved Sweden’s NATO membership in January. Sweden was previously criticized for being too lenient towards groups that the Turkish government considers security threats. Protests against the Muslim community in Sweden last year worsened relations.


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