The country’s ruling party has followed the example of neighboring Finland
Sweden's ruling Social Democratic Party has announced its support for the country's bid for NATO membership, following a similar move by the Finnish government.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Social Democrats pledged to "work for Sweden to apply for NATO membership." However, the party leadership emphasized that if the request were successful, Sweden "would oppose the stationing of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory."
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Finland and Sweden decided to reconsider their longstanding non-aligned policies after a sea change in public opinion following Russia's attack on Ukraine. According to the most recent polls, majorities in both countries are now in favor of NATO membership. Moscow has warned Helsinki and Stockholm not to join the bloc and has promised an adequate response if they do so.
Finland officially decides to join NATO READ MORE: Finland officially decides to join NATO
Turkey had previously expressed objections to NATO offers from Finland and Sweden, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan describing the two Nordic countries as "guest houses for terrorist organisations". He was referring to the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the People's Liberation Revolutionary Front (DHKP/C), which are banned in his country.
However, NATO Assistant Secretary-General Mircea Geoana said he was confident the bloc could overcome Turkey's reserves.
In early April, military bloc chief Jens Stoltenberg said NATO would "warmly welcome" Finland and Sweden if they applied to join and was ready to make a decision on membership "rather quickly."