Sweden ends neutrality, officially joins NATO : The Tribune India

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Sweden ends neutrality, officially joins NATO

Sweden's membership had been held up due to objections by NATO members Turkey and Hungary

Sweden ends neutrality, officially joins NATO


AP

Washington, March 7

Sweden on Thursday formally joined NATO as the 32nd member of the transatlantic military alliance, ending decades of post-World War II neutrality, as concerns about Russian aggression in Europe have spiked following its 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Secretary of State Antony Blinken presided at a ceremony in which Sweden's "instrument of accession" to the alliance was officially deposited at the State Department.

"This is a historic moment for Sweden. It's historic for the alliance. It's history for the transatlantic relationship," Blinken said. "Our NATO alliance is now stronger, larger than it's ever been." Kristersson wrote in a social media post. He will visit the White House and then be a guest of honour at President Joe Biden's State of the Union address to Congress.

The White House said having Sweden as a NATO ally "would make the United States and our allies even safer." "NATO is the most powerful defensive alliance in the history of the world, and it is as critical today to ensuring the security of our citizens as it was 75 years ago when our alliance was founded out of the wreckage of World War II," it said in a statement. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described it as "a historic day."

Biden, in his speech to Congress, is expected to cite Sweden's accession to NATO as evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin's intent to divide and weaken the alliance has failed as a direct result of the Ukraine invasion. 

Turkey, Hungary had opposed ITS membership

Sweden's membership had been held up due to objections by NATO members Turkey and Hungary. Turkey expressed concern that Sweden was harboring and not taking enough action against Kurdish groups that it regards as terrorists, and Hungary's populist President Viktor Orban has shown pro-Russian sentiment and not shared the alliance's determination to support Ukraine.

#Europe #Russia #Ukraine #United States of America USA #Washington


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