Spread the love

After long negotiations, Sweden officially joins NATO

After two centuries of neutrality, then military non-alignment and two years of negotiations, Sweden officially became the 32nd member of NATO on Thursday, a major step for a country which until then had kept itself afloat. agrave; to provoke the ire of Moscow.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is traveling to Washington, where the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken is to officially receive the ratification documents. The latter had been obtained through a hard struggle after long negotiations with certain members of the Alliance.

And the blue and yellow Swedish flag must be raised on Monday in front of the Brussels headquarters of NATO.

Russia promised last week to take “countermeasures” in reaction to Stockholm's accession, which will depend “on the conditions and of the scale of Sweden's integration into NATO”.

Sweden's accession, after that of Finland last year, means that all countries bordering the Baltic Sea, with the exception of Russia, are now members of the Atlantic Alliance.

Sweden and Finland, although militarily close to the United States due to their membership in the European Union, have historically preferred to stay away from the alliance, formed during the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

Although Sweden contributes to international peacekeeping forces, it has not experienced war since a conflict with Norway in 1814.

– “Too many sacrifices ” –

Helsinki and Stockholm announced at the same time their candidacy to join NATO in 2022, in reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

After long negotiations, Sweden officially joins NATO

The shores of the Baltic Sea once Sweden joins NATO © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Valentina BRESCHI

Finland had obtained its accession to the Alliance last April, but Sweden's accession process was punctuated by negotiations with Turkey which accused the Nordic country of leniency towards Kurdish refugee activists on its soil, some considered terrorists by Ankara.

Sweden also had to deal with the reluctance of the Hungarian Prime Minister. Viktor Orban had certainly given his agreement in principle a long time ago but, before completing the process, he demanded “respect” from Stockholm, after years of “denigration” of his policies.

At the end of February, the Hungarian Parliament finally ratified Sweden's membership in NATO.

According to a poll by SR radio broadcast on Friday, a majority of Swedes believe that their country has made “too many sacrifices” to become a member of NATO, while admitting that Sweden's security has been strengthened with this membership.

Sweden's accession to NATO was accompanied by a clear hardening of the rhetoric of its leaders, with the commander-in-chief of the Swedish armed forces, Micael Biden, declaring in January that his compatriots ” had to mentally prepare for war.

In addition to its candidacy for NATO, Sweden signed an agreement at the beginning of December authorizing the United States to have access to 17 military bases on its soil.< /p> All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116