Sweden Joins NATO As 32nd Member After Centuries Of Neutrality
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson,

Sweden Joins NATO As 32nd Member After Centuries Of Neutrality

4 months ago
1 min read

Sweden became the 32nd member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on Thursday, two years after making a bid and overcoming obstacles from Turkey and Hungary.

The handover documents took place at a ceremony in Washington D.C., where Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson expressed Sweden’s commitment to NATO.

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“Unity and solidarity will be Sweden’s guiding lights as a NATO member,” said Prime Minister Kristersson during the ceremony. “We will share burdens, responsibilities, and risks with our allies.”

The decision marks a significant shift for Sweden, which has maintained a policy of neutrality for centuries. The security situation in the region, particularly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, played a crucial role in Sweden’s decision to apply for NATO membership in May 2022, along with Finland.

While Finland’s application was approved in under a year, Sweden faced opposition from Turkey and Hungary. Turkey had concerns over Sweden’s alleged support for Kurdish separatists, leading to a delay in its approval. Hungary, on the other hand, accused Sweden of hostility and also delayed its approval.

However, after negotiations and deals, including Hungary’s acquisition of more fighter aircraft from Sweden, both countries eventually granted approval. Turkey gave it approval in January 2024 while Hungary’s parliament ratified Sweden’s bid last month. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed Sweden’s accession, calling it a “historic moment” for Sweden, the alliance, and the transatlantic relationship.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also praised Sweden’s membership, highlighting its capable armed forces and defense industry, which will make the alliance “stronger and safer.”

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a military alliance of 32 European and North American countries that promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defense and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust, and, in the long run, prevent conflict.

It was founded in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations including the United Kingdom and France to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.


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