Sweden’s entry strengthens NATO control over the Baltic Sea

A NATO flag, in a file image

Copenhagen.- Sweden’s entry into NATO, formalized this Thursday, means that all the Nordic countries will be under the umbrella of NATO, which thus reinforces its control over the entire Baltic Sea.

With the receipt of the protocol of accession to the Alliance by the State Department in Washington, Sweden completes its turn in foreign policy and closes two centuries of military non-alignment.

Sweden becomes the 32nd member

Sweden, which thus becomes the 32nd member, had already been taking steps to get closer to NATO for three decades, coinciding with the end of the Cold War, such as subscribing to the Alliance’s Partnership for Peace initiative, which It allowed the participation of Swedish soldiers in the missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 was the argument used to further strengthen the relationship, allowing, for example, for the first time the presence of Alliance troops in its territory to carry out joint maneuvers, in addition to causing the reinstatement of military service and the sending a permanent detachment to the Baltic island of Gotland.

Finland the first to start the process

But it was the beginning of the military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022 that triggered a process, led by Finland , which culminated three months later with the sending of an application for membership.

This required two of the three main parliamentary forces, the social democrats and the far-right Sweden Democrats, to modify their anti-NATO policy, changing the order of forces in the Chamber on that issue.

Their entry into the Alliance summit in Madrid ratified

The entry of both countries was ratified in June of that year at the Alliance summit in Madrid, but the reluctance of Turkey and Hungary caused it to be delayed for a year, in the case of Finland, and almost two, in that of Sweden.

Turkey brandished Stockholm’s “permissiveness” with the Kurdish exile and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrilla, while waiting for the United States to authorize the sale of F-16 fighters.

In the case of Budapest, Sweden’s previous criticism of the Hungarian Government was alluded to, although finally its Parliament – the only one missing from the 31 NATO member countries – ratified Swedish membership two weeks ago.

Reinforcement of the area

Sweden has a force of about 25,000 soldiers, a powerful military industry and the largest air force in the Nordic countries, with a hundred fighters, in addition to the island of Gotland, the largest in the entire Baltic and of great strategic value.

The strengthening of NATO control over the Baltic will also affect the movement capacity of the Russian fleet in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad.

Stoltenberg celebrates Sweden’s entry into NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg celebrated this Thursday that Sweden is now an official member of the Alliance and assured that Stockholm makes the transatlantic organization “stronger.”

In a message on the social network

BY: M Saeed Ahmed Khan