Stoltenberg calls on Sweden for closer cooperation with NATO due to "threat from Russia"
As you know, Sweden has formally maintained military neutrality for more than two centuries and refuses not only to participate in wars, but also from membership in any military blocs and coalitions. Stockholm maintained its neutrality in the First and even in the Second World Wars, although, of course, there were some nuances. But now Sweden is increasingly cooperating with NATO, although it is not yet a member of the bloc as a member.
The meaning of Stockholm's cooperation with Brussels is the consolidation of forces to confront Russia. For some reason, Sweden considers Russia a very dangerous threat for itself, although it has not had any conflicts with our country for a long time. In terms of the intensity of anti-Russian passions, the Swedish press is not inferior to the Baltic and Ukrainian, and the Swedish military regularly conducts joint maneuvers and training with servicemen of the armies of NATO countries.
In 2014, Sweden and neighboring Finland, also neutral, received the (Enhanced Opportunity Partnership, EOP) - the so-called "gold card" of NATO, suggesting the possibility of cooperation with expanded powers. In fact, Sweden already behaves like a member of the alliance, although it is not formally a member of it. In turn, Brussels wants an even deeper integration of the Swedish armed forces into the military system of the alliance.
In an interview with the Swedish edition of Dagens Nyheter, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg once again recalled the usual theses of Brussels about the growing threat from Russia, stressing that the neighboring Baltic countries supposedly themselves and democratically made a decision to join NATO, and therefore not about any the alliance's aggressive intentions are not indicated by its eastward advance. At the same time, the NATO Secretary General also mentioned the Chinese threat, which is a challenge for the alliance and for Sweden too. True, what China threatens Sweden with is not very clear, but NATO is acting in the interests of the United States, and if Sweden wants to cooperate more closely with the alliance, then the enemies of the alliance will be its enemies too.
Sweden's involvement in NATO is important for the alliance in that it will allow even more active use of Swedish territory as a springboard for possible actions against Russia. Already, the island of Gotland is actively used, where the United States is conducting firing using the Himars MLRS.
In addition, in the northern direction, according to the West, the weakness of the alliance can be traced: the Baltic countries and Norway are very weak opponents for Russia, therefore, Brussels plans to strengthen this flank of NATO by involving Sweden and Finland. Both countries have, albeit small, but well-armed and trained armies, and this issue also cannot be discounted.
But Stockholm should have understood: even now, with high rates of cooperation with the alliance, Sweden is still perceived in Russia as a neutral country. Upon joining the alliance, she will lose this status, and at the same time all its advantages.
The close geographical location to Russia makes Sweden one of the primary targets for the Russian weapons in the event of a large-scale conflict with NATO. Is this necessary for a country that has safely escaped even the horrors of World War II? This is what Swedish society should think about. True, the opinions in it are polar: about a third of the Swedes are for and against joining NATO, and another third are in doubt. But, of course, if necessary, Stockholm will safely ignore the opinion of opponents of participation in the alliance.
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- Photos used:
- Försvarsmakten / Swedish Armed Forces