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Sweden says joining NATO will reduce risk of conflict in northern Europe


Sweden says joining NATO will reduce risk of conflict in northern Europe

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and Swedish Defense Minister Peter Holtquist at a press conference on May 13

Reuters

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on May 13 that Sweden’s accession to NATO will play a stabilizing role and benefit the countries around the Baltic Sea.

“Sweden’s entry into NATO will raise the bar for military conflict and thus play a role in preventing conflict in northern Europe,” Linde told reporters when introducing the National Assembly’s policy review on security.

According to the report, Sweden would be more vulnerable if it were the only Nordic or Baltic state outside NATO. However, the report also noted that Russia could respond if Sweden applied to join the U.S.-led military alliance.

“If Sweden chooses to join NATO, there is a possibility that Russia will react,” said Swedish Defense Minister Peter Holtquist.

“However, if this is the case, we are prepared for any response,” Hultqvist added.

Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine has forced Sweden and neighboring Finland to openly take sides after decades of neutrality.

The Swedish parliament’s report came a day after Finland’s leaders backed NATO membership. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced on May 12 that Finland must apply immediately to join the NATO military alliance. A special committee in Finland will formally announce its decision to apply for NATO membership on May 15.

Stockholm is expected to follow Helsinki’s lead and could apply to join NATO as early as May 16.

Russia has repeatedly warned both countries not to join NATO. In an interview with the British online magazine UnHerd, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, announced recently that Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO and the deployment of the alliance’s military units on the territory will allow the Two countries became potential targets. Russia.

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