Following a similar move by the Finnish government, Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party has announced its support for the country’s bid for NATO membership.
The Social Democrats made the pledge in a statement released on Sunday “Working on behalf of Sweden to apply for NATO membership.” However, the party leadership insisted that Sweden would stand if the application was successful “Against the establishment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish soil.”
Finland and Sweden have decided to reconsider their long-standing non-alignment policy following a major shift in public opinion following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to a recent poll, a majority in both countries now support NATO membership. Moscow has warned Helsinki and Stockholm against joining the bloc and has promised to respond appropriately if they take such action.
Turkey had earlier expressed its objections to the NATO bid of Finland and Sweden, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling the two Nordic countries. “Guesthouse of a terrorist organization.” He was referring to the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP / C), which have been banned in his country.
NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircia Giona, however, said he was confident the bloc would be able to overcome Turkey’s restraint.
In early April, the head of the military bloc, Jens Stoltenberg, told NATO “Warmly welcome” Finland and Sweden if they apply to join and are ready to decide on membership “Quite fast.”
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