A day after Finland officially announced that it would apply for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Sweden indicated on Friday (13) that it would do the same. The Swedish government submitted a report to Parliament defending the country’s accession to the Western Military Alliance, and indicated that it would present its candidacy next week.
The country’s foreign minister, Anne Lind, said her country was ready to abandon neutrality and that Sweden’s accession to NATO would break down the conflicts in the Baltic Sea.
“Sweden’s membership in NATO would raise the threshold for military conflict and thus have an impact on conflict prevention in Northern Europe,” Linde said.
Swedish warplanes and tanks on the island of Gotland, a tourist destination in the country where the government announced an increase in the presence of the army due to threats from Russia in the Baltic Sea (Photo: Associated Press)
Since last year, Moscow has increased the military presence and training of its forces in the Baltic Sea, where a significant part of the Swedish territory and the western coast of Finland and Russia exit.
The Swedish government expects to hand over the candidate to NATO early next week.
Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said on Friday he was aware of the risks his country posed from joining the military alliance, but said his forces were “ready” for any retaliation from Moscow.
Two weeks ago, the Kremlin promised “unprecedented” responses if Finland and Sweden became members of NATO.Which the government of Vladimir Putin considers one of its main enemies today.
He declared that “If Sweden chooses to join NATO, there is a risk of a reaction from Russia. But I must stress that we are ready to deal with any response from their side.”
Finns welcome their country’s decision to apply for NATO membership
On Thursday (12), a Finland has formalized its intention to apply for NATO membership, which may also happen next week. The governments of the United States, Germany and France, which are already part of the military alliance, announced that they would speed up entry procedures for the country.
Finland shares a 1.3km-wide border with Russia, which has already announced strong retaliation if the two Scandinavian countries join NATO.
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