Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said the decision to join NATO was “the best way to ensure the safety of the Swedish people.”
Prime Minister Andersson said at a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden on the 16th (local time) that the majority of the Swedish parliament was in favor of NATO membership. “The best thing for Sweden and the Swedish people is to join NATO,” he said.
“We expect that it will not take more than a year for the 30 member countries of the alliance to unanimously approve Sweden’s application for membership,” he said. Prime Minister Andersson held a joint press conference with opposition leader Wolf Kristersson after a security policy debate in the Swedish parliament on the same day.
Prime Minister Andersson said the decision to join NATO was “a historic and revolutionary change for Sweden” and “we will leave one era and enter another.” Sweden, which has been advocating military neutrality for over 200 years, decided to join NATO on this day and deviated from the military non-alignment line. The Finnish government, which has been neutral for 74 years, also decided to submit an application for membership to NATO on the 15th.
Prime Minister Andersson said he would submit an application for NATO membership on the 17th or 18th and would work with the Finnish government.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson speaks during a press conference regarding Sweden’s decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on February 16, 2019. Shinhwa Yonhap News