Stockholm (Times Of Ocean)- Sweden is expected to make a final decision on joining NATO by mid-May, the foreign minister said. He also pledged a stronger security commitment to the military alliance of 30 countries if Sweden joined.
NATO membership is currently being debated by all political parties in parliament, with a decision expected by May 13, said Ann Linde at a press conference with her Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto in Helsinki, Finland, where she was on an official visit.
“There is an overall impression that if Sweden and Finland apply, it will be positively received by NATO members, not the least because they would be contributing to security as a whole,” she explained.
As Swedish-Finnish bilateral relations are “uniquely broad,” and their current close cooperation has never been seen before, she said whatever Finland decides about NATO membership would have a significant impact on Sweden.
Asked what Russia’s reaction would be if Sweden applied for NATO membership, Linde responded, “One is, of course, warnings.” The Foreign Ministry (of Russia) has warned that there will be consequences if Sweden applied. One of the other is the “downplaying of NATO’s importance,” she added.