The NATO Welcoming Sweden Is Larger, More Determined

The NATO Welcoming Sweden Is Larger, More Determined
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Still, with Hungary finally voting for Sweden’s accession to NATO, at last the pieces are falling into place for a sharply enhanced NATO deterrent in the Baltic and North Seas, with greater protection for the frontline states of Finland, Norway and the Baltic nations, which border Russia.

Once Hungary hands in a letter certifying parliamentary approval to the U.S. State Department, Sweden will become the 32nd member of NATO, and all the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, with the exception of Russia, will be part of the alliance.

“Sweden brings predictability, removing any uncertainty about how we would act in a crisis or a war,” Mr. Dalsjo said. Given Sweden’s geography, including Gotland, the island that helps controls the entrance to the Baltic Sea, membership “will make defense and deterrence much easier to accomplish,” he said.

It was Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago that pushed Finland into deciding to join NATO, and Helsinki pulled a somewhat more reluctant Sweden into applying to join as well.

Finland, with its long border with Russia, saw the most imminent danger; the Swedes did too, but were also convinced, especially on the political left, by a sense of moral outrage that Russia, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, would seek to destroy a peaceful, sovereign neighbor.

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Eric D. Eilerman

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