Sweden To Finally Become NATO Member After Long Tussle

Sweden, after maintaining a policy of non-alignment for two centuries and engaging in challenging diplomacy for two years, will officially join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as its 32nd member.

This significant development marks a major milestone for a nation that has historically been cautious about provoking Russia.

Bahd street vibes reports that NATO currently has 31 member countries.

These nations, known as NATO Allies, are independent states that unite under NATO to deliberate on political and security matters and reach joint decisions through consensus.

NATO was established on 4 April 1949 by 12 countries from Europe and North America.

According to Politico Europe, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is headed to Washington and is expected to deliver the ratified documents to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, marking the successful completion of the challenging process to secure approval from all NATO members.

Kristersson is also scheduled to participate in President Joe Biden‘s annual State of the Union speech, where Biden has been encountering obstacles in convincing the opposing Republican Party to back further assistance for Ukraine.

Bahd street vibes learnt that next Monday, Sweden’s blue and golden flag will be hoisted at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance in Brussels, signifying its official entry.

Russia Disagrees On Sweden’s NATO Membership

This news platform understands that Russia had earlier voiced its disapproval of Sweden’s NATO membership and has issued a warning to take “countermeasures,” especially if the alliance deploys troops and resources within the nation.

Sweden and Finland, despite their close military ties with the United States and membership in the European Union, have historically refrained from officially joining NATO, which was established during the Cold War to counter the Soviet Union.

Sweden has not engaged in any wars, including World War II, since the Napoleonic conflicts of the early 19th century.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Finland and Sweden jointly applied for NATO membership. Ukraine, which had sought to join NATO but was unsuccessful, considers an attack on one member as an attack on all.

Finland successfully became a NATO member in April 2023. However, Sweden’s application was delayed due to pressure from Turkey. Turkey insisted that Sweden, known for its lenient asylum policies, take action against Kurdish militants who have been opposing Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later demanded action when protesters, protected by Sweden’s laws on freedom of speech, disrespected the Koran, Islam’s holy book.

As an implicit incentive, the United States hinted at the possibility of providing F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, which has faced US sanctions for a significant military purchase from Russia.

The Biden administration approved $23 billion in F-16 warplanes for Turkey in January, shortly after Sweden’s membership was ratified.

Simultaneously, the United States invested $8.6 billion in more advanced F-35 jets for Greece, a fellow NATO member with a long-standing rivalry and frequent tensions with Turkey.

Despite Turkey’s approval, Sweden encountered another hurdle requiring Hungary’s consent. Hungary, led by nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has a history of defying Western allies.

Sweden’s membership was ratified by the Hungarian parliament on February 26. However, a delay occurred as Hungary could not formally sign the accession document due to a temporary vacancy in the role of president, following the resignation of an Orban ally involved in a scandal related to pardoning a convicted child abuser’s accomplice.

A recent survey by Swedish broadcaster SR revealed that most Swedes feel the country made too many concessions to join NATO, although over three-quarters believe NATO will enhance the country’s security.

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