Sweden Officially Joins NATO as the 32nd Member State

by Cheplyk Roman
Monday, March 11, 2024
Sweden Officially Joins NATO as the 32nd Member State

Sweden’s national flag was hoisted at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday, March 11, symbolizing the country’s formal admission into the Alliance as its 32nd member

This event signifies a historic shift for Sweden, which has maintained a stance of neutrality for over two centuries, now aligning itself with the world's most formidable and successful military alliance amidst escalating regional threats.

During the ceremony, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson delivered statements, highlighting the significance of Sweden's membership. Stoltenberg remarked on Sweden's transition from neutrality to becoming a part of NATO's protective framework, while Kristersson addressed the growing security concerns in the region, particularly the persistent threat posed by Russia.

Kristersson underlined Sweden's commitment to supporting Ukraine as an integral aspect of its NATO membership, reflecting the mutual benefits of security and defense cooperation within the Alliance. Stoltenberg praised Sweden's contribution, noting its proficient armed forces and advanced defense industry, and stated that Sweden's accession enhances NATO's overall strength and security.

This milestone in NATO's expansion underscores the principle of open membership and the sovereign right of nations to determine their security affiliations. The inclusion of Sweden in NATO not only fortifies the Alliance but also opens discussions on Ukraine's potential future within NATO, as hinted by Stoltenberg before the flag-raising event.

Sweden's move towards NATO membership, alongside Finland, was prompted by the geopolitical shifts following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. After submitting their applications in mid-May 2022 and gaining official candidate status in July, Sweden's NATO membership faced delays due to the ratification processes in Turkey and Hungary, which were completed in early 2024.

This development coincides with Sweden announcing its 15th military aid package to Ukraine, totaling nearly $700 million, which includes ammunition, weapons, and CB90-class landing craft, reinforcing Sweden's commitment to supporting Ukraine amidst its ongoing conflict with Russia.

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