Sweden Joining NATO End of World War II Neutrality

Fri Mar 08 2024
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WASHINGTON: Sweden formally became the 32nd member of NATO on Thursday, marking the end of decades of post-World War II neutrality and centuries of broader non-alignment with major powers.

This move comes amidst heightened security concerns in Europe following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. President Joe Biden hailed Sweden’s admission as a sign of unity within the transatlantic military alliance, stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine had strengthened NATO’s resolve.

Biden praised Sweden and Finland for their historic decision to apply for full NATO membership in May 2022, emphasizing that NATO now stands more united and determined with the addition of Sweden.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson attended Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress as a guest of honor, symbolizing Sweden’s integration into NATO. The ceremony for Sweden’s accession to the alliance, presided over by Kristersson and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, was described as a historic moment by Blinken, who highlighted the strengthened transatlantic relationship.

Kristersson expressed humility and pride, affirming Sweden’s commitment to meeting NATO’s expectations with unity and solidarity. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg echoed these sentiments, emphasizing Sweden’s equal participation in shaping NATO policies and decisions.

The raising of the Swedish flag outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday will signify Sweden’s full integration into the alliance, with the assurance of protection under Article 5, NATO’s collective security guarantee.

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