The Swedish Social Democratic Party, which governs the country in a minority, has announced that it will support the country’s entry into NATO, which represents an important change of position in foreign policy. The announcement comes hours after Finland’s decision to apply to join the Atlantic alliance.
“We believe that the best thing for Sweden and the security of the Swedish people is for us to join NATO”, said the Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, at a press conference together with the Foreign Minister, the Defense Minister and the Secretary of the match. “It is clear that February 24 marked a before and after. The security system on which Sweden has built its security is under attack.”RELATED
“The Swedish Social Democratic Party has made the historic decision to say yes to applying for NATO membership. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has deteriorated the security situation for Sweden and for Europe as a whole,” said Foreign Minister Ann Linde.
— Ann Linde (@AnnLinde) May 15, 2022
“At its meeting today, May 15, 2022, the party board has decided that it will work for Sweden to apply for NATO membership,” the party said in a statement.
According to the local press, this Monday the decision will be debated in Parliament, but the vast majority of deputies support entry into the Atlantic alliance. In the afternoon, the expressen newspaper says that the Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, will convene a meeting of the Executive to make the final decision.
For its part, the announcement by the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, also has to be ratified by Parliament, which will meet this Monday, according to the newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet.
The Swedish Social Democratic Party’s announcement marks a major change in position. Two months ago the opposition had asked him to consider joining NATO and Andersson had ruled it out. “If Sweden were to choose to apply for NATO accession in the current situation, it would further destabilize this region of Europe and increase tensions,” the prime minister declared in March. “I have been clear all this time that it is in the best interest of the security of Sweden and of this region of Europe that the government has a long-term, consistent and predictable policy,” she added.
According to a survey two months ago commissioned by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, 51% of Swedes are in favor of joining NATO, which represents an increase of nine points compared to January. It is the first time that this poll shows a majority in favor.