Sweden Joins NATO: “Historic Day”

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Sweden officially joined NATO on March 7th, 2024. (Image Credit: CNN)

Sweden has joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Thursday. This would also make Sweden the official 32nd member of NATO.

“This is a historic day,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commenting on the occasion, “After over 200 years of non-alignment Sweden now enjoys the protection granted under Article 5, the ultimate guarantee of Allies’ freedom and security.”

Stoltenberg added that Sweden through becoming an official member of NATO, will also have an equal voice in deciding NATO’s guidelines and regulations, and the country will also contribute to the alliance with providing “first-class” defense industry, such as its advanced submarines. “Today’s accession demonstrates that NATO’s door remains open and that every nation has the right to choose its own path,” Stoltenberg explained.

Ulf Kristersson, Sweden’s prime minister thanked other members of NATO for welcoming in Sweden in a statement posted on X, stating “We will strive for unity, solidarity and burden-sharing, and will fully adhere to the Washington Treaty values: freedom, democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.”

Sweden has stayed in a stance of neutrality during wartime for over 200 years, and just a decade ago, most residents opposed Sweden joining NATO. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained Sweden’s decision to join NATO follows the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which prompted Sweden to reconsider their nation’s security measures. “Sweden realized something very profound: that if Putin was willing to try to erase one neighbor from the map, then he might well not stop there,” he explained.

US President Joe Biden celebrated Sweden’s decision, commenting that it made the alliance “more united, determined and dynamic than ever,” as well as now able to “stand for freedom and democracy for generations to come.”

The Prime Minister of UK, Rishi Sunak, also welcomed Sweden’s addition to NATO. “Like Finland, Sweden shares our values and principles, and they share our unwavering commitment to international security in the face of Russia’s threats and their barbaric war in Ukraine,” Sunak said. “Sweden and Finland’s membership will make NATO stronger and the whole Euro-Atlantic more secure.”

Written by Kevin Han

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