May 15, 2022

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STOCKHOLM–Sweden has formally decided to apply for NATO membership, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Monday at a press conference alongside opposition leader Ulf Kristersson.

Ms. Andersson led a special party leader debate on potential membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Monday, receiving broad support from parties.

After the debate, the government of Sweden formally decided to apply for NATO membership, Ms. Andersson said.”The government also introduced a bill with proposals, that if passed, will enable us to receive military support from all NATO EU member countries in a possible crisis,” she said.

Sweden has previously expressed concern about its security during an application process, a period when it wouldn’t be covered by NATO’s collective defensive treaty that says an attack against one member will prompt a response from all members. Before membership is granted and NATO’s security guarantee is applied in full, the application must receive approval from the parliaments of all 30 NATO countries.

Sweden is due to hold a general election in September. The Moderate Party’s leader, Mr. Kristersson, noted that the application is about to be sent in early in an election campaign and will be processed during an unknown election result.

“The prime minister and I, we disagree on many important things…but on this topic we stand absolutely united. NATO is above party politics,” Mr. Kristersson said.

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