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Monday, March 27, 2023

Defense: Sweden prepares for solo entry into NATO

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Sweden and Finland actually want to join NATO “hand in hand”. But Turkey is persistently blocking Sweden’s accession.

In view of the unresolved NATO dispute with Turkey, the Swedish government is preparing its compatriots that their country could only be admitted to the defense alliance after Finland. Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said at a press conference in Stockholm on Tuesday that the probability that the accessions will happen at different speeds has increased. If Finland’s accession protocols are ratified first, then Sweden would also be safer than with Finland outside of NATO.

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After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland decided last year to apply for NATO membership after a long period of military non-alignment. 28 of the 30 current alliance members ratified the accession long ago, only Hungary and Turkey are still missing. Turkey has been blocking the dual accession for months: its objections are primarily aimed at Sweden, which it accuses of lacking action against terrorist organizations such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK.

Sweden and Finland have repeatedly emphasized that they want to be admitted to NATO at the same time and “hand in hand”. However, because of the Turkish blockade, it has been rumored for some time that Finland might join ahead of Sweden. Sweden is prepared for this to happen, Kristersson said at the press conference with Oscar Stenstrom, Sweden’s chief negotiator in NATO talks with Turkey. Kristersson travels to Berlin on Wednesday for talks with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Source: Stern

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