The residents will not be given any choice if they want to join the block, says PM
Sweden does not plan to hold a referendum on NATO membership if the country’s parliament approves the measure, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced on Thursday, suggesting that it would be a “”bad idea. “
“I do not think it is a question suitable for a referendum“, the Swedish leader told reporters and suggested that Parliament’s support was sufficient.There is a lot of information on national security that is confidential, so there are important issues in such a referendum that can not be discussed and important facts that can not be put on the table.“she explained.
The Riksdag will make an overview of security policy, with plans to release a report on the subject in the middle of next month. With a majority of the Riksdag that reportedly supports membership in NATO, Andersson’s own party, the Social Democrats, is considered to be the main obstacle for Stockholm to join the 30-nation alliance. Ulf Kristersson, leader of the leading opposition party Moderaterna, agrees, however, that a referendum is a bad idea.
“Voters … are not naive about Russia“, he told Aftonbladet earlier this week during a debate with left-wing party leader Nooshi Dadgostar and claimed that it was”very clear that the Swedish voters have understood what happened“the day Russia invaded Ukraine”and has drawn its conclusions.“
The Left Party is opposed to joining NATO, and Dadgostar argued that Swedes should have something to say about the issue, and that it “must go back to the electorate, there must be a very strong democratic support on this issue.“A survey published by Aftonbladet last week showed that 57% of Swedes supported NATO membership, an increase of 6% from the previous month.
Sweden and Finland plan to simultaneously submit membership applications to NATO in mid-May, local media have reported, citing government sources. The leaders of the Nordic countries claim that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine changed “the entire security landscape“in the region. However, Moscow has warned of such a move and suggests that it will be forced to strengthen its regional defense if NATO were to expand to its borders. While Sweden had initially planned to wait until the end of the month to publish its security Foreign Minister Ann Linde cited Finland’s already published report as the reason for stepping up his country’s timetable and stated that “there is now a lot of pressure“for Stockholm to release its own conclusions. However, surveys indicate that Finnish support for NATO membership is significantly higher (68%) than it is in Sweden.
READ MORE: Russia warns of potential clashes with NATO in the Arctic
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg declared on Thursday that the alliance was prepared to support Ukraine’s fight against Russia for “year“and to update the nation’s weapon system to modern”Weapons and systems according to NATO standards that will also require more training“even when Russia warned that the continued supply of heavy weapons to Kyiv would pose a threat to European security and”provoke instability.”
Moscow earlier this week accused NATO of “essentially going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming the proxy“after the destruction of a Ukrainian weapons depot packed with foreign weapons in Zaporozhye. The Pentagon rejected the claim. The alliance has doubled its support for Kyiv, with the United States hosting a meeting of 40 countries in Germany to get even non-NATO members nations on board. to support the conflict.