Morning Brief: Sweden follows Finland toward NATO
FP’s Colm Quinn
1 hour ago
|MAY 16, 2022 | VIEW IN BROWSERGet the full story: subscribe to FP. SPONSORED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS CLINTON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC SERVICE By Colm QuinnWelcome to today’s Morning Brief, looking at Sweden’s steps toward NATO, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Belfast, and the world this week.Have tips or feedback? Hit reply to this email to let me know your thoughts.|
Sweden Makes Its NATO MoveSweden’s ruling Social Democrats on Sunday evening backed joining the NATO alliance, a dramatic U-turn for a party wedded to the country’s previously non-aligned stance.In approving the decision, the party expressed “unilateral reservations against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory.” The wider parliament is expected to debate the issue further today, but Sunday’s decision means the largest obstacle to membership has been overcome.The decision means Sweden is set to join Finland in seeking to join the alliance. The Finns are a step ahead, with the parliament in Helsinki set to approve a decision to apply for membership today.A formal announcement for Sweden is timed perfectly for the visit of the Finnish President Saul Niinisto to Stockholm on Tuesday.Russia has already vowed a “military-technical” response, the outlines of which have yet to be defined.Speaking to Foreign Policy earlier this month, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the moves would likely include changes to the “military-political landscape” of the Baltic Sea area, with the most dramatic being the likely deployment of nuclear weapons to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad (something Lithuania’s defense minister thinks has already happened).