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Sweden Officially Joins NATO

Sweden has officially become the 32nd member of NATO after it had completed its accession process in Washington.

The handover of documents took place at a ceremony two years after Sweden applied two years ago after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Swedish PM, Ulf Kristerson, said that “unity and solidarity” would be Sweden’s “guiding lights.”

Nato “is stronger than ever”, said Joe Biden, US President. “NATO stands more united, determined, and dynamic” the president, adding that “together with our newest ally Sweden – NATO will continue to stand for freedom and democracy for generations to come.”

Nato Security General Jens Stoltenberg posted on X that Sweden has “capable armed forces and a first-class defense industry” and that NATO had become “stronger and safer.”

Ukraine’s President, Volodimir Zelensky, welcomed Sweeden’s entry into NATO stating that Sweden was “one more country in Europe has become more protected from Russian evil.”

Russia has vowed to take unspecified political and military measures in response to Sweden’s actions.

Map of NATO members and when they have joined.

Sweden applied to join NATO in 2022 after the invasion of Ukraine, but its request was blocked by two members-Hungary and Turkey. Turkey had withheld its approval over what it had called Sweden’s support to Kurdish separatists. It had lifted its veto in January of this year. The Hungarian PM, Viktor Orban, accused Sweden of being hostile towards Hungary and delayed its approval until last week. Last week, the Hungarian Parliament eventually voted to ratify Sweden’s entry into NATO.

The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, previously stated before the Russian invasion of Ukraine that due to Sweden’s 200-year-old policy of neutrality, Sweden’s NATO membership was not “foreseeable.”

The Swedish PM, Ulf Kristersson, said, “We are humble, but we are also proud. We will live up to all expectations. We share burdens, responsibilities, and risks with other allies.” He added that the security situation in the region had not been this serious since the Second World War. He added that Sweden was joining NATO to both provide and gain security.

Finland joined the alliance in April last year which doubled the length of NATO’s border with Russia.

On Monday, there was a flag-raising ceremony to mark Sweden’s accession to NATO outside of NATO headquarters in Brussels.

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