Tuesday. 21.05.2024

The king of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, has given a speech bemoaning the suffering in Ukraine and discussing the consequences of the Russian invasion for Sweden.

Europe is in an extraordinarily difficult situation, the monarch said on Monday in a speech to a regiment in Karlsborg in southern Sweden, beginning with an address to the entire population of Sweden.

Russia's invasion is a breach of international law and violates fundamental freedoms and rights.

"That which is happening in our direct proximity also has real consequences for Sweden," he said. The situation highlights the importance of Sweden's armed forces.

Referring to the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine, the 75-year-old, who has been king since 1973 said: "People are fleeing their homes and their country. Families are being pulled apart. Innocents are dying."

NATO membership

The Russian attack on Ukraine has raised the issue of a potential NATO membership in Sweden and in neighbouring Finland. While both countries are allies of the military union, they are not members.

Following the Russian invasion, support among the populations of both countries for a membership is up significantly, according to NATO polls.

Swedish king gives speech on consequences of Ukraine war for Sweden