NewsWorldSwedish government takes formal decision to apply for NATO membership

Swedish government takes formal decision to apply for NATO membership

Sweden’s government has formally decided to apply for NATO membership, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday (May 16), setting it on the road toward ending military non-alignment that lasted throughout the Cold War.

Sweden’s governing Social Democrats dropped their 73-year opposition to joining NATO on Sunday (May 15) and are hoping for a quick accession, following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“The government has decided to inform NATO that Sweden wants to be accepted as a member of NATO, ” Andersson told reporters, adding that the application could be handed in on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and would be synchronised with Finland.

The decision to abandon the military non-alignment that has been a central tenet of Swedish national identity for two centuries marks a sea change in public perception in the Nordic region following Russia’s attack on its neighbour.

There is broad backing in parliament for an application, though the government does not need its approval to go ahead. Finland on Sunday also confirmed it would apply to join the Atlantic military alliance.

(Reuters)

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