After 200 years, Sweden abandons the “policy of neutrality”


Specialists considered this as one of the indicators of the prolongation of the conflict between Russia and the West, especially that the statements of Swedish government It comes after Sweden announced that 4 Russian fighter planes violated its airspace over the Baltic Sea and east of the Swedish island of Gotland for a short period, this month.

The Swedish official said in a television interview that the request to join “requires an in-depth analysis of the possibilities available and the nature of the risks associated with them to make the best decision.”

These statements are the first of their kind to be issued officially. Earlier, the Prime Minister considered joining NATO a threat to the security of Northern Europe.

With the approaching parliamentary elections next September, voices in support of joining theNATOAmong them is the leader of the right-wing opposition, Ulf Christerson, who has hinted that if he wins the elections, he will apply for Sweden’s membership in the alliance.

Opinion polls revealed that the percentage of support for joining NATO is close to 50 percent, while the percentage of those who reject it ranges between 25-30 percent.

Sweden, located to the west of Russia and separated by Finland, has followed a policy of neutrality since the 1809 war, in which it ceded Finland to Russia, and gradually this policy declined, especially with its accession to the European Union in 1995, which adheres to a common foreign and security policy, and includes 21 members of “NATO”. .

Sweden’s military cooperation with NATO emerged last year, after its invitation to seven NATO countries to maneuver the “Arctic Challenge 2021”, and its participation in exercises in northern Norway.

semantics of demand

Two weeks ago, Russia warned Sweden that joining NATO would have serious military consequences and a retaliatory reaction, and the Swedish Foreign Ministry rejected this threat, stressing that its decisions are independent.

And political analyst Mustafa Al-Tousa finds that the Russian invasion of Ukraine sparked panic and fear among the European countries neighboring the Russian bear, which were standing with a kind of neutrality between NATO and Russia.

In his interview with Sky News Arabia, Toussa indicated that Sweden is looking for an umbrella to protect it from any potential danger in the event of the continuation of the Ukrainian war, and to benefit from Article 5 of the NATO Charter related to the defense of any member state in the event of an attack.

With the war in Ukraine, Sweden abandoned the principle of not sending weapons to any country at war, which it has adhered to since 1939 (corresponding to the beginning of World War II); The Ministry of Defense announced its intention to send an additional 5,000 hand anti-tank weapons and demining equipment to Ukraine, in addition to the 2,500 assault rifles, 1,500 anti-tank weapons and 150,000 shells sent at the beginning of the war.

The cost of the military support package provided by Stockholm For Kiev 20 million euros.

NATO’s position

Earlier this year, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hinted at the close partnership with Sweden by conducting joint military exercises, and the possibility of it joining the alliance if requested.

As for NATO’s reaction if Sweden submits an official request to join, Toussa expects that it will welcome its desire to strengthen European readiness towards Russia, especially since Stockholm is not committed to a legal, political or strategic agreement with Moscow to be neutral, unlike the situation in Ukraine.

He suggested discussing the upcoming NATO summit with the request, for the alliance to activate the military machine as a pressure card on Moscow, sending messages that the alliance is expanding and increasing its members, in anticipation of any upcoming confrontation with the Russian army.

The Swedish army ranks 25th among the most powerful armies in the world, with an estimated defense budget of $8.6 billion. It has 38,000 soldiers, including 16,000 active forces and 22,000 paramilitaries. It has 204 warplanes, 371 armored vehicles, and 49 self-propelled guns, in addition to 316 units. Navy within the largest 5 naval fleets in the world.

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