Liberal Party calls for Sweden to join Nato force

The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) believes that Sweden ought to send more soldiers to Afghanistan, participate in Nato’s rapid reaction force, as well as join the military alliance's air patrols over the Baltic region.

“We participate in Nato-led international missions. We have adopted Nato standards in terms of equipment and training in defence. We both pay the membership fee and participate in meetings, but have no voting right within Nato,” said Allan Widman, the Liberal Party’s defence policy spokesperson, to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

He claims that the conflict in Georgia makes Swedish Nato membership all the more important.

The Liberal Party has long pushed the issue of Swedish membership in the military alliance.

In June, the party registered a dissenting opinion against the Defence Commission’s decision not to take a position on the question of Nato membership.

The Swedish public remains skeptical towards Nato membership.

Only the Moderate Party supports Sweden’s entry into Nato, but only under the conditions that the Social Democrats also support the move, and that Finland would join the alliance as well.

Today Sweden has 350 soldiers in Afghanistan. The Liberal Party wants to see that number increase to 500 troops.

Norway has participated in the EU’s rapid reaction force, despite not being an EU member state. In the same way, Sweden ought to participate in Nato’s rapid reaction force even though it is not a member.

Likewise, Sweden ought to be a part of the rotating schedule in which different countries patrol air space over the Baltic region, argues the Liberal Party.