Swedish PM says ‘best thing’ for her country’s security is to join Nato

Stockholm’s stance towards defensive alliance follows membership bid by Finland

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson holds a news conference in Stockholm after a meeting at the ruling Social Democrats’ headquarters about the party’s decision on Nato membership. Photo: TT News Agency via Reuters
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Sweden’s security needs are best served by Nato membership, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Sunday.

She spoke after her party abandoned decades of opposition to joining the US-led alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The best thing for the security of Sweden and the Swedish people is to join Nato,” Ms Andersson said at a news conference.

“We believe Sweden needs the formal security guarantees that come with membership in Nato.”

Finland also will apply for Nato membership, the country’s president and government announced in a statement on Sunday.

Finland, which shares a 1,340-kilometre border with Russia, has been inching towards applying to join the alliance since Moscow ordered an invasion of Ukraine in February.

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats announced their official policy change, which would pave the way for their country to apply within days.

“Today the Swedish Social Democratic Party took a historic decision to say yes to apply for a membership in the Nato defence alliance,” Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Twitter.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has deteriorated the security situation for Sweden and Europe as a whole.”

Updated: May 15, 2022, 11:39 PM