Sweden has received assurances from the United States that it would receive support during the period in which a potential NATO membership application is processed by the 30 Alliance countries, Foreign Minister Ann Linde said in Washington on Wednesday.
Sweden, Finland and NATO
“Naturally, I’m not going to go into the details, but I feel very confident that we now have the American promise,” Linde told swedish television from Washington, after meeting with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
“However, these are not concrete security guarantees: those can only be obtained if a state is a full member of NATO,” he added, according to Reuters. Linde did not go into detail about what guarantees she had received from Blinken.
“It would mean that Russia can be clear that if it directs any kind of negative activities against Sweden, which it has threatened, it would not be something that the United States would simply allow to happen… without a response,” the Swedish minister said.
Finland and Sweden, historic non-NATO aligned countries, could decide in the coming weeks to submit their application to join the Alliance. And part of the negotiation with NATO, while the internal political processes in each country are completed, has to do with the security guarantees of the two countries from the moment they present the hypothetical request until it is approved. Following Russia’s continuous threats of possible accession, both countries want guarantees of protection in the period from the time they present the papers until the accession is accepted.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last week that he hoped Sweden and Finland’s accession process to the Alliance would go quickly and was convinced that they could reach “security agreements” during the interim period since request their entry until it culminates in its formal ratification by the parliaments of the 30 allies.
Before the meeting, Linde welcomed Blinken’s leadership on sanctions against Russia, saying the “transatlantic link has perhaps never been more important than it is now.” “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made us all ask ourselves what is the safest situation for our countries and our peoples,” said the minister, According to the US State Department.
According to various local media, the Finnish government intends to make public its decision to apply for NATO membership in mid-May. Meanwhile, in Sweden, the political parties are still deliberating on possible accession in Parliament and will present a report on the new security policy on May 13.
Linde said the United States strongly supported Sweden and Finland joining NATO, which would increase stability in the Baltic and Arctic regions.
The Department of State He said in a statement after the meeting that Blinken expressed Washington’s commitment to NATO’s policy of welcoming new members, but made no mention of security guarantees.
“There is no alternative to transatlantic unity. Thank you Secretary Blinken for reaffirming our close relations and cooperation, our strong support for Ukraine, and our strong stance on Russia’s violations of international law and the UN Charter,” Linde wrote on Twitter.