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Sweden Joins NATO, Ends Decades Neutral Stance

Sweden formally became the 32nd member of NATO after completing its accession process in Washington. This decision comes two years after Sweden’s application, triggered by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, highlighting concerns about regional security.

Sweden’s Strategic Shift

  • From Neutrality to Alliance: After more than 200 years of neutrality and avoidance of military alliances, Sweden’s decision marks a significant departure. This move signifies a shift towards aligning with NATO’s collective security framework.
  • Response to Russian Threat: The invasion of Ukraine in 2022 prompted Sweden, along with neighboring Finland, to seek NATO membership as a response to heightened concerns about Russian military aggression.

Challenges and Delays

  • Turkish Objections: Initially, Turkey objected to Sweden’s membership citing concerns over alleged support to Kurdish separatists. However, the veto was lifted in January, clearing the path for Sweden’s accession.
  • Hungarian Resistance: Hungary also delayed its approval, accusing Sweden of hostility. However, after negotiations and agreements, Hungary finally ratified Sweden’s bid, cementing its NATO membership.

32 member countries in NATO

  1. Albania
  2. Belgium
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Canada
  5. Croatia
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Denmark
  8. Estonia
  9. France
  10. Germany
  11. Greece
  12. Hungary
  13. Iceland
  14. Italy
  15. Latvia
  16. Lithuania
  17. Luxembourg
  18. Montenegro
  19. Netherlands
  20. North Macedonia
  21. Norway
  22. Poland
  23. Portugal
  24. Romania
  25. Slovakia
  26. Slovenia
  27. Spain
  28. Turkey
  29. United Kingdom
  30. United States
  31. Finland (joined in 2023)
  32. Sweden (joined in 2024)


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