Ann Linde signs request after government decides to join US-led bloc
Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde has signed a formal request to NATO to accept the country as a member, the country’s military mission said on Tuesday. The government has taken this decision a day ago.
Dr. Linde signed the petition “Felt big and serious” In terms of the historical significance of the move. Sweden has maintained military neutrality since the Napoleonic Wars and has not joined NATO during the Cold War, despite being part of the Western camp.
The minister said a similar bid from Helsinki would be submitted to NATO. Finland also maintained neutrality during the Cold War, but decided to seek membership after Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.
Moscow has said the national security of the two Nordic countries would be compromised rather than served by the move, as Russia would modify its military stance accordingly. Russia believes NATO is a hostile entity that promotes US interests and says its former expansion into Europe is the main cause of Ukraine’s tensions and conflict.
Read more: Putin has outlined his position on NATO expansion
Bids must be approved by the current 30 members of the military alliance, who have pledged to expedite the process. Turkey has broken ranks by objecting to the proposed expansion.
Ankara has accused Sweden and Finland of seeking asylum “Terrorist,” In the apparent reference to ethnic Kurds who oppose the Turkish government and who have granted political asylum in both countries over the years. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said he believes Turkey’s concerns can be addressed and hopes they will not slow down the unification of the two countries in the alliance.