Published: 2022-05-17 14:09
Last Updated: 2022-07-01 21:29
Sweden will apply for membership in NATO as a deterrent against Russian aggression, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Monday, reversing two centuries of military non-alignment, AFP reported.
"The government has decided to inform NATO that Sweden wants to become a member of the alliance," Andersson told reporters a day after neighboring Finland made a similar announcement.
"We are leaving one era and beginning another," she said, adding that Sweden's NATO ambassador would "shortly" inform NATO.
Sweden and Finland have both expressed a desire to act in lockstep on NATO membership and submit their applications jointly.
"We expect it shouldn't take more than a year" for the alliance's 30 members to unanimously ratify Sweden's membership application, Andersson said.
The announcement was expected after her Social Democratic party on Sunday backed membership, in a dramatic turnaround after having opposed the idea since the birth of the Western military alliance.
A broad majority in Sweden's parliament is in favor of membership.