Swedish PM on Nato: ‘I see no point in delaying the process’

Sweden's Prime Minister said on Wednesday that she aimed to make a decision on Nato membership early enough for it not to clash with this September's general election, as her Finnish counterpart said her country would decide "within weeks".

Swedish PM on Nato: 'I see no point in delaying the process'
Swedish Prime Minister Magda Andersson and her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin ahead of a joint press conference in Stockholm. Photo: Paul Wennerholm/TT

Speaking at a joint press conference in Stockholm with Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Andersson said that while Sweden would take as much time as necessary to properly assess the changed security situation, it would not draw out the process unnecessarily. 

“I see no point in delaying this analysis, or the process,” she said. “We also have elections in September, so we want to, of course, later in the year have more focus on that.” 
Finland’s parliament will next week start a plenary session to discuss the implications of the Finnish government’s reassessment of the security environment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which was published on Wednesday  and which concluded that if Finland joined Nato “the deterrent effect” would be “considerably stronger than it is at present as it would be based on the capabilities of the entire Alliance”.
“I think it will happen quite fast. Within weeks, not within months,” Marin told reporters at the press conference. 
Sweden is also discussing Nato membership following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Since the end of the Cold War, Finland and its Nordic neighbour Sweden have remained non-aligned but have deepened ties and are close partners with Nato, stopping short of memberships.
Marin stressed that as a Nato partner but not a member, Finland was not covered under Article 5, which states that an attack on one member should be considered an attack on all.
“There is no other way to have security guarantees than under Nato’s deterrence and common defence as guaranteed by Nato’s Article 5,” Marin said.

Follow the national Nato debate with The Local’s podcast, Sweden in Focus

Finnish MPs on Wednesday also received a white paper on the country’s security situation and a potential membership in the military alliance in light of the war in Ukraine.
The paper will serve as the starting point for parliamentary debates beginning next week. Many analysts predict Finland could submit a bid in time for a Nato summit in June.
Finland’s leaders have in the past opted to stay out of Nato in part to avoid provoking Russia.  During the Cold War, Finland agreed to stay out of western security cooperation in exchange for guarantees from Moscow not to invade.

Member comments

  1. This woman has been in power for how many minutes , and she already wants to take Sweden into a War which by the way things are going will expand to other EU countries when China finally signs a pact with Russia like Italy did with Germany in the last War . Pandora’s Box has been open and there is no going back , this is not a game and if selling weapons to boost the Swedish economy is the object of this MADNESS then it’s not good enough . India is backing Russia and being rewarded with cheap Oil , Saudi Arabia only talks to Putin and has not taken a single call from Biden since he came to power . Africa hates Ukraine after the racist War Crime they committed denying Africans and all Blacks on trains taking people out of Ukraine telling them to walk 500 kilometers to the border and once at the border in the freezing cold told to go to the back of the line so Whites could pass before them . Most importantly is Putin has Warned Sweden and Finland twice not to get involved and if they do join ask the Finns what Stalin did to them the last time they stood up to Russia . I would say ask Sweden to ask Russia what Peter the Great did to King Charles their super hero warrior King , but it would fall on deaf ears , as I have been in contact with the Swedish Foreign Minister and the ICC and the bias shown towards a Slavic country that has been around for ten minutes is revolting . The EU still pays Putin One Billion Euros every day for Oil and Gas and they say they are at War with Russia ??? Have you ever heard of any Military conflict when one side is paying the aggressor money to build up its army and buy more weapons to kill them ?? My Political Science Professor left that one out of the lessons at Penn , and I can’t remember any case law where you pay the killer to kill you ?? White because they are White people getting killed by other White people is the only reason Ukrainians are being treated like Gold dust over all other War Victims from Ethiopia , Yemen , Camerouns all ongoing Wars that no Swede ever talks about . Six Years ago Ukraine had a Government which was pro Russia until the Coup that overthrew them . You now have 6 million Refugees , cities completely destroyed , an economy that has shrunk by 45 percent , while Russia only 11 percent with all those useless sanctions . The Russian army is doing what it has always done , retreated to regroup having tested the fire power of the Ukrainian Army and they will strike back when the summer comes and there will be no more mistakes . Sweden will be a target for that prediction I do not need a Crystal Ball . Inflation is skyrocketing like never seen before and Americans are sick to death of Biden blaming Putin for his incompetence not Putin . Biden’s approval rating is at 33 percent as of today lower than Tricky Dicky Richard Nixon during Watergate . The Secretary of Defence only yesterday awarded Military Suppliers 79 Billion Dollars to make weapons for Ukraine . Any idiot who went to Military School knows like I know , that without boots on the ground and fighter planes in the skies this is just a Con Game . I end here saying Best of Luck , you are going to need it when you join NATO and for the first time in four hundred years , you will go to War .

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EXPLAINED: Could Turkey block Sweden from Nato membership?

At the last minute, Turkey has thrown up objections to a future Swedish Nato membership. What's going on?

EXPLAINED: Could Turkey block Sweden from Nato membership?

What’s happened? 

On Friday, Turkey’s president surprised everyone in the Nato process by saying that it “would be a mistake” to admit Finland and Sweden, given the way the two countries have sheltered members of groups which Turkey views as terrorist, such as the Kurdish nationalist PKK and YPG, and members of the Gülenist movement. On Saturday, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde met her counterpart Mevlüt Cavusoglu, but failed to make any headway. 

Why is Turkey unhappy? 

Turkey has long accused Sweden, and to a lesser extent Finland, of providing asylum to members of PKK, an armed group fighting for parts of northeastern Turkey to become a Kurdish homeland, which is designated a terrorist organisation by the US, EU and some other countries. 

There are no official statistics on the number of Kurds living in Sweden, but Kurdish groups estimate the number at as much as 100,000, including six MPs of Kurdish origin. 

Sweden has given significant support to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, which is defended by the YPG militia, which Turkey views as a terrorist group. Sweden has given the administration some $50 million in aid. 

“The problem is that these two countries are openly supporting and engaging with PKK and YPG [People’s Protection Units],” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday as he arrived at a Nato meeting in Berlin. “These are terrorist organisations that have been attacking our troops every day.” 

What does Turkey want? 

According to Reuters, Turkey has demanded that Sweden and Finland extradite a wish-list of 33 people it sees as linked to the PKK, YPG, or else to the Gülenist movement Turkey blames for a coup attempt in 2016. 

Çavuşoğlu has also called for Sweden and Finland to clamp down on “outlets, activities, organisations, individuals and other types of presence” linked to the PKK. 

He has also called for and end to what he called “arms aid” from Sweden to Kurdish organisations. 

What has Sweden done so far? 

Sweden’s foreign minister Ann Linde met with Cavusoglu on Saturday. After the meeting, she was categorical that Sweden viewed PKK as a terrorist group, but said that she did believe that the Kurdish government in northern Syria was part of the same organisation. 

Both Sweden and Finland have refused to extradite the individuals on Turkey’s wish-list. 

Sweden’s defence minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish state broadcaster SVT on Monday that Sweden would now send a group of officials to Turkey to try to work out how to meet the country’s concerns. 

Might Turkey end up blocking Sweden’s membership? 

For a new member to be admitted to Nato requires the consensus of all existing members, so theoretically, yes, it could. 

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, on Saturday expressed a willingness to compromise. 

“We are not closing the door. But we are basically raising this issue as a matter of national security for Turkey,” Kalin told Reuters in an interview. 

Hultqvist told Swedish television on Monday that Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had told him that Turkey had not raised any objections to Swedish and Finnish membership earlier in the process and that he expected that an agreement could be reached.