Finally, Yes To Sweden In NATO


(MENAFN- Asia Times) On February 27 – finally, almost two years after Sweden's NATO application – Hungary, as the last member country, approved Sweden's membership in the Western defense alliance.

For Sweden, it was truly a historic day, as it was for the four other Nordic countries, all of them now NATO members.

With that, the military and security situation in northern Europe has radically changed. Russia is now facing a united NATO front along its western border, and the Baltic Sea is on all sides surrounded by NATO-members, with the narrow inlet to the Russian city of St Petersburg and the small Russian enclave of Kaliningrad as the only exceptions.

That's most likely not the outcome Vladimir Putin desired, or even foresaw, when he launched his war on Ukraine two years ago. That invasion, and that war, became the final straw for neutral Sweden and Finland to join NATO.

“A historic day,” said Sweden's prime minister Ulf Kristersson. The comment was repeated by many and not only in Sweden, which now has joined the Western defense alliance after 200 years of neutrality – a policy that saved the country from being drawn into World War II in contrast to all its Nordic neighbors.

“We are more secure now as a member of NATO,” said opposition leader Magdalena Anderson, of the Social Democrats. Anderson, then as prime minister, started the membership application process shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine –“a war,” she said on Tuesday, that“Russia must not win.”

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