Joining NATO would have a ‘stabilizing effect’: FM Linde

Stockholm: Joining NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) would reduce conflict risk predicts Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde following a policy review, according to international media. 

According to reports, Foreign Minister Ann Linde on Friday said that the Swedish membership in NATO would have a “stabilizing effect” which would benefit countries surrounding the Baltic sea. The news comes a day after Finland announced the decision to apply for membership in NATO. 

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Speaking with reporters during a parliament report, Linde said that the NATO membership would help to “raise the threshold for military conflicts and thus have a conflict-preventing effect in northern Europe”. 

It is pertinent to note that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is coercing surrounding states including Sweden and Finland to take sides. Announcing the decision to apply for NATO membership, Linde added that the move would allow Sweden “collective security” under Article 5 of NATO, which states that an attack on one NATO country would mean an attack on all NATO countries. 

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Experts believe that if Finland and Sweden do join NATO, it would result in major geopolitical changes in Northern Europe. According to reports, Finland’s President and Prime Minister said that the country must join NATO “without delay” given its difficult history with Russia. 

Meanwhile, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said that in the likelihood Sweden joins NATO, “there is a risk of a reaction from Russia”. 

According to reports, Sweden is expected to follow behind Finland by applying for a NATO membership. 

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