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Sweden Joins NATO Military Alliance

As of March 7th, 2024, Sweden has become the 32nd member to join NATO. They finally joined NATO after they applied to join the military alliance, shortly after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, whose headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium.


Russia attacked Ukraine on 24th February, 2022, when Russia launched military action in Ukraine. Forces crossed into Ukraine from Russia, Belarus, and Crimea. Putin stated that it was an operation to demilitarise Ukraine and denied any plans for Russia to occupy Ukrainian territory. Today in 2024, the war is still ongoing with daily updates and warnings of a full-scale war in Europe, now that Sweden has joined NATO.


NATO’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg posted on social media that Sweden “brings with it capable armed forces and a first-class defence industry.” Sweden wanted to join NATO after Russia first invaded Ukraine; however, it was blocked originally by two members of NATO.


One of the members who blocked Sweden’s application in 2022 was Turkey, who withheld their approval because of Swedish support to Kurdish separatists. The other member who blocked Sweden was Hungary, who felt Sweden was being hostile towards Hungary. On 11th March, 2024, Sweden’s flag will officially be raised at the headquarters in Brussel, along with thirty-one other flags of other members.


NATO’s aim is to guarantee the security and freedom of its members through political and military means. NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. However, should the diplomatic disputes fail, NATO has the military power for crisis management operations.


Everyday members of NATO are actively making decisions on all security issues, at all levels. They reach a decision known as the “NATO decision” and this is where all thirty-one, now thirty-two, member countries agree a decision by consensus. NATO was set up in 1949 with twelve countries joining in that year. These were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, and the United States.


Countries continue to join to this day, with North Macedonia joining in 2020, Finland in 2023, and Sweden in March 2024. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was originally set up to provide security for nations specifically against the Soviet Union. Ratification in NATO also marks a historic change in Sweden’s national and international position, as they have now shifted away from their predominantly neutral stance.


NATO has wasted no time in including Sweden in military manoeuvres. Sweden and Finland have been involved in a military training exercise involving around 20,000 soldiers.


NATO condemns Russia’s tactics, and their unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. Since 2014, when Russia illegally annexed Crimea, NATO has adopted a full support position for Ukraine. The Allies condemn Russia and do not recognise this illegal annexation of Crimea, and now, Ukraine.

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