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Sweden Officially Joins NATO as Alliance’s 32nd Member

Sweden officially became the 32nd member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) after an accession process that spanned nearly two years.

Sweden Officially Joins NATO as Alliance’s 32nd Member

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Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, ending decades of neutrality.

Sweden’s accession process faced hurdles from NATO members Turkey and Hungary due to various concerns, including Turkey’s objections regarding Sweden’s stance on Kurdish groups and Hungary’s ties with Russia.

The delayed process finally concluded with Hungary’s approval, making the way for Sweden’s official membership.

Sweden’s accession to NATO shows a departure from its 200-year policy of military non-alignment and neutrality.

This Sweden’s recognition of the changing security area in Europe, particularly when Russia’s aggressive actions.

With Sweden’s entry, NATO now controls the entire Nordic region, enhancing its position vis-à-vis Russia. The Baltic Sea effectively becomes a “NATO sea.”

Sweden’s decision to join NATO comes after decades of neutrality, with the country historically avoiding military alliances since the Napoleonic wars.

Concerns about Russian aggression in the region made Sweden, along with its neighbor Finland, to apply for NATO membership in May 2022.

The accession process faced obstacles, with Turkey initially withholding approval due to concerns over Sweden’s stance on Kurdish separatists.

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Hungary’s delay in ratifying Sweden’s membership was attributed to political differences and Hungary’s close ties with Russia.

However, both Turkey and Hungary eventually approved Sweden’s NATO membership, clearing the final hurdles for accession.

Sweden’s entry into NATO shows a departure from its longstanding policy of military non-alignment. This Sweden’s recognition of the changing security area in Europe and the need for collective defense against threats.

With Sweden’s accession, NATO now solidifies its control over the Nordic region, with all neighboring countries, including Finland, being members of the alliance. The Baltic Sea becomes entirely under NATO’s influence.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hailed Sweden’s membership as a strengthening of the alliance and addressed Sweden’s role in shaping NATO policies. US President Joe Biden welcomed Sweden into NATO.

Sweden’s accession to NATO grants it the protection under Article 5, wherein members pledge to come to the aid of any ally under attack, enhancing Sweden’s security against potential threats.

The integration of Sweden’s advanced military capabilities, including submarines and fighter jets, strengthens NATO’s defense capabilities.

While the decision to join NATO was met with approval from government officials, there were concerns by anti-war campaigners about increased militarization and tension in the region.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson addressed the importance of unity and solidarity within NATO, framing the membership as a natural progression in Sweden’s security policy.

Sweden’s NATO membership opens avenues for enhanced military cooperation and joint exercises with NATO allies.

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