Sweden expected to announce its NATO membership decision on Monday

Sweden’s possible NATO membership would prevent wars and conflicts in northern Europe, the country’s security policy analysis assessed Friday.

The membership “would raise the threshold for military conflicts and thus provide a conflict-preventing effect in northern Europe,” Foreign Minister Ann Linde told a press conference where she presented the report along with other government officials.

After becoming part of the military alliance, the report said, Sweden will not only strengthen its own security, but also contribute to the security of like-minded neighbors.

Linde said that military non-alignment has served the country well, but the Russian war in Ukraine has made it clear that Sweden should adapt to new realities.

Sweden is expected to announce its NATO membership decision on Monday.

Also, Finland, which shares 1,300-km (810-mile) border with Russia, is expected to announce a formal decision on joining NATO on Sunday.

Citing the report, Linde said Russia would view the membership of Finland and Sweden in NATO negatively, but there would not be a conventional military attack as a reaction.

If Helsinki and Stockholm decide to go different paths regarding NATO membership, a scenario that envisages Finland joining NATO and Sweden not, Sweden’s vulnerability would increase and that would lead Russia to have a special military-strategic interest toward the country, the report further said.

However, the report does not contain any recommendations on whether Sweden should join NATO or not.

The content of the report has received the support of six of the eight parliamentary parties.

Finland and Sweden began to reconsider their policy of strict military neutrality after Russia launched an attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24.

-AA

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