Tuesday 5/17/22
NATO-RUSSIA TENSIONS

Swedish ruling party to make decision on NATO membership on Sunday

The ruling Social Democrats in Finland under Prime Minister Sanna Marin intend to announce their own stance on NATO membership a day earlier, on Saturday

03 May 2022, Brandenburg, Meseberg: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (C), Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin (L) and Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson speak during a press conference in front of Meseberg Palace, the German government's guest house, where the federal cabinet is meeting for a two-day closed meeting. The two heads of government came to the closed meeting as guests. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (C), Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin (L) and Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa.

The ruling Social Democrats Party (SAP) in Sweden will announce their position on a potential NATO membership application next Sunday, the secretary general of the SAP, Tobias Baudin, told reporters on Monday.

The party leadership around Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson will come to a decision at a special meeting on Sunday, Baudin confirmed after hints several days ago that this would happen.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered an intense public discussion in Sweden and neighbouring Finland on potential NATO membership.

The SAP, which is in a minority government, is under pressure to change own position on the issue. At the same time, voices inside the party are cautioning against rushing a decision on such a significant question.

Before the war in Ukraine, the SAP had been opposed to Sweden joining NATO, citing the freedom of its military from obligations to foreign alliances.

An official change of policy on the matter would be a huge step for the party and potentially the country.

Finnish PM to unveil position earlier

The ruling Social Democrats in Finland under Prime Minister Sanna Marin intend to announce their own stance on NATO membership a day earlier, on Saturday.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, meanwhile, plans to present his position by Thursday.

According to an opinion poll published by the Yle radio station on Monday, 76% people in Finland are in favour of an application for a NATO membership - an all-time high.

Only 12% are against it, while 11% were undecided. In March, a survey showed that support for a NATO membership was around 62%.

Finland and Sweden are already close NATO partners.

Swedish ruling party to make decision on NATO membership on Sunday
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