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Sweden's ruling Social Democrats to take position on NATO membership

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson's party is convening a special meeting to debate and decide on the issue, which has triggered an intense national debate in the months since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

DPA WORLD
Published May 15,2022
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Sweden's governing Social Democrats are due to take an official position on whether the country should apply to join the NATO military alliance on Sunday.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson's party is convening a special meeting to debate and decide on the issue, which has triggered an intense national debate in the months since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Sweden's Social Democrats have long opposed joining the organization, advocating instead for the country to remain neutral in armed conflicts. However, as public opinion on the issue shifts, the party has decided to revisit its policy.

Finland's Social Democrats have already lent their support for NATO membership, following President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin's joint announcement in favour of Helsinki's accession on Thursday.

The Finnish government is now expected to announce an official decision to apply for NATO membership as early as Sunday. A Finnish application is likely to put further pressure on Stockholm, where a parliamentary debate is scheduled for Monday.

Unlike their Nordic partners Denmark, Norway and Iceland, Sweden and Finland have never been members of NATO, despite closely cooperating with the alliance.