Just last month, Sweden and six Nato-member nations carried out a simulated peace-keeping mission in the country’s sub-Arctic north and now the Swedish military is running naval drills in the Baltic Sea with 14 Nato allies.
And this week, the leader of the conservative Moderate Party Anna Kinberg Batra called for her country to come up with a “route plan” for a possible Nato membership application after the 2018 election.
But Sweden remains non-aligned while pledging closer cooperation. And the alliance itself has struck a similar public stance.
Douglas Lute is the US ambassador to NATO and is in Stockholm this week. He tells Swedish Radio News that Nato doesn’t recruit members but added that Sweden would be a welcomed addition.
He also says that the deeper defense collaboration taking place today between Sweden and Nato is no guarantee for national security. When asked if Nato would rush to Sweden’s aid in a time of need, he says: “Maybe… Maybe not.”
Ever since relations between the West and Russia have soured, Sweden has been inching closer to Nato but the country has mostly focused its strategy on better integration with its Nordic neighbors.
One of those is Finland, whose newly elected Prime Minister Juha Sipilä visited Stockholm on Monday for talks on, among other things, improving defense cooperation.
Finland is currently evaluating whether it should join Nato but Sipilä was quick to add that it wasn’t leaping right into membership.
Continued here at Radio Sweden