After parliamentary debate: Sweden applies for NATO membership

Status: 05/16/2022 4:15 p.m.

In response to the war in Ukraine, Sweden is considering applying for NATO membership. This was announced by Prime Minister Andersson. Previously, the majority of Parliament had voted in favor of membership.

Sweden wants to apply for NATO membership. “We are leaving an era and entering a new one,” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said in Stockholm. It is expected to submit the application with Finland in the next few days.

In a discussion in parliament, the majority of parties voted in favor of joining the Western defense alliance. The Greens and the left are against. The two parties together hold 43 of the 349 seats in the Swedish Parliament.

tagesschau live: Sweden’s statement on NATO membership

05/16/2022 15:38

“Sweden is better defended in NATO”

“There are a lot of things in Sweden that are worth fighting for, and in our opinion it’s better in NATO,” Social Democrat Andersson said at joint press conference with party leader of bourgeois opposition Moderaterna, Ulf Kristersson. “We live in dangerous times right now,” said Kristersson, who spoke of a “historic day.”

Debate also in Finland

The government of neighboring Sweden, Finland, announced on Sunday that it intended to apply for NATO membership. A majority for this in the Finnish Parliament is considered safe. Since the morning, the subject has been discussed there in an hour-long debate.

The two countries thus renounce a long tradition of military non-alignment. The admission process begins when Finland and Sweden submit their applications to NATO Headquarters in Brussels. All 30 states must agree to join. You have received signals from different countries that they want to make a decision as soon as possible, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish television.

Swedish delegation visits Turkey

A solution had to be found with Turkey, which had criticized the accession of Sweden and Finland. “We will send a delegation that will have discussions and dialogue with Turkey to see how we can solve this problem and what the real problem is,” Hultqvist said. “But the signal we got from NATO is that there is an agreement that Sweden and Finland should be there.”

Putin warns NATO against rearmament

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned NATO against arming potential new members Sweden and Finland. Russia has no problem with the two countries, including with regard to their foreseeable NATO membership, Putin told a meeting of representatives of a Russian-led military alliance.

“But the expansion of military infrastructure in this area would certainly provoke a response from us,” Putin told leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which also includes Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. “What will that response look like? We will see what threats come our way,” Putin said. “Here, problems are created without any justification, we have to react accordingly.”

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Serious mistake”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the possible admission of the two Nordic countries to NATO a “serious mistake with far-reaching consequences”. This would increase military tensions, Ryabkov warned, according to the Interfax news agency. Addressing the two Scandinavian countries, he added: “You shouldn’t have any illusions that we’re just going to put up with it.”

Sweden to apply for NATO membership

Arne Bartram, ARD Stockholm, 16.5.2022 15:38

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