Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has announced her party’s support for the country to apply to join NATO.
“We Social Democrats consider that the best for Sweden and the security of the Swedish people is for us to join NATO. This is a decision we have taken after very careful consideration,” Andersson said during an interview. a press conference on Sunday.
Andersson noted that the move reverses a position the country has taken for 200 years, leaving “a political line of security policies that we’ve had in different shapes and forms.”
“For us Social Democrats, the policy of no military alliance has served us well. But our analysis shows that it will not serve us as well in the future,” Andersson said. “It’s not a decision we took lightly.”
The prime minister said the country needed to “adapt to reality” and make decisions based on the current climate.
“It is very clear that there is a before and an after February 24, 2022. Europe, Sweden and the Swedish people live in a new and dangerous reality. The European security order on which Sweden bases its security policies for centuries, which is now under attack,” Andersson said.
The expected announcement follows Finland’s announcement on Sunday of its decision to apply to NATO, after the two countries had so far refrained from joining for historical and geopolitical reasons.
Earlier on Sunday, Sweden’s Social Democratic Party posted a statement on its website saying it had decided the country should work on a Swedish bid to join NATO.
The statement goes on to say that the party should, in the event the request is granted by NATO, work to set out unilateral conditions against the placement of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde called it a ‘historic decision’ in a tweet.
Earlier on Sunday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “NATO’s door is open” to Sweden and Finland.