Sweden to Submit Joint Bid with Finland to Join NATO

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats announced Sunday that they will support an application to join NATO, paving the way for the Scandinavian country to submit a joint bid with its strategic ally and neighbor Finland.

Why it matters: Sweden’s possible reversal of more than 200 years of military non-alignment is the latest historic shift in Europe precipitated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The big picture: The announcement by Sweden’s Social Democrats comes days after the leaders of Finland, which shares an 800-mile border with Russia, called for their country to apply for NATO membership “without delay.” Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto on Sunday confirmed his country would apply for NATO membership.

  • Support for NATO membership in Finland skyrocketed virtually overnight after Vladimir Putin launched his invasion, as it quickly become clear that Finland could be uniquely vulnerable to Russian aggression in Europe’s shattered security environment.
  • The evolution of public sentiment in Sweden was more modest, but 64% of Swedes in a poll conducted May 4-10 said they would support NATO membership if Finland applied as well.

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SOURCE: Axios, Zachary Basu