“We’ve come to the conclusion that we will make a decision on our security policy on the 15th May,” Baudin said.
On May 17th, Niinistö will make a state visit to Stockholm.
This is one of the reasons behind the timing for the Swedish Social Democrats’ comment on Nato, Baudin says.
“There are advantages of keeping up the same pace as our neighbours and close allies,” he said. “It’s better to make a decision on Sunday than wait another week or so. We can make a well-founded decision on Sunday”.
Baudin said to public broadcaster SVT on how party districts felt towards Nato membership that “it’s not as if they’ve ticked ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It’s more weighing up both sides of the decision and sending their comments,” he said.
“I understand that many are focusing on the question of Nato, but there are other questions which also need attention, not least foreign policy,” Baudin continued.
“The shared decision is that the majority think it’s good if we can make a decision on Sunday. Waiting one or two weeks won’t actually change anything. Party leadership will have a well-founded proposal for a decision on Sunday when they meet,” he continued.
Sweden and Finland have been militarily non-aligned for decades, but public opinion in both countries has shifted following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with support for membership soaring, according to polls.
Sweden’s centre-left Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, has historically opposed NATO membership, and even reaffirmed this stance at the last party congress in November.
But the conflict in Ukraine has reignited debate in the country and within the party.
Both Sweden and Finland have close ties with the alliance, joining the Partnership for Peace Program in 1994 and regularly taking part in exercises with NATO countries and NATO-led peacekeeping missions.