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WAR IN UKRAINE

Support for NATO membership continues to grow in Sweden

The party of Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has in the past spoken out against NATO membership and in favour of the country's traditional military non-alignment

13/04/2022. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin in Stockholm. Photo:  Anne Sjöholm/Vnk.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (L) and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin in Stockholm last week. Photo: Anne Sjöholm/Vnk.

More and more people in Sweden want their country to join NATO, according to a new opinion poll.

In the survey conducted by the Demoskop Institute on behalf of the newspaper Aftonbladet, 57% of those questioned were in favour of Sweden joining the military alliance - six percentage points more than last month and the highest figure since the question has been posed.

Twenty-one per cent were still against. The remaining 22% were undecided.

Especially among voters of the governing Social Democrats, the number of supporters increased strongly. It now stands at 41%, 12 percentage points above the previous month's figure.

The party of Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has in the past spoken out against NATO membership and in favour of the country's traditional military non-alignment.

Debate in Sweden, Finland

However, the Ukraine war has triggered a wide-ranging debate on NATO membership in both Sweden and neighbouring Finland. Even the Social Democratic-leaning Aftonbladet itself has now changed its view: "Vladimir Putin's war shows that we must join NATO in order to guarantee Sweden's security," the newspaper wrote in an editorial on Wednesday, explaining its changed position in more detail.

Finland and Sweden have so far been close NATO partners, but not members. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine could soon lead to the two Nordic countries deciding to apply for membership of the Western defence alliance.

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin recently announced that her country could make a decision on the issue within the coming weeks.

Starting on Wednesday, the Finnish parliament in Helsinki wanted to debate a security policy analysis by the government, which also points out the advantages and risks of joining NATO.

Demoskop, on behalf of Aftonbladet, interviewed a total of 1,177 representatively selected people aged 16 and older for the online survey between April 14-19.

Support for NATO membership continues to grow in Sweden
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