September 26, 2023


The United States has assured Sweden that it will receive support while a potential NATO application is being processed by the 30 alliance members, Foreign Minister Ann Linde stated in Washington Wednesday.

While Sweden and Finland were not members of NATO during Cold War, their neighbour Finland did so. However, Russia’s 2014 annexation and invasion of Ukraine led them to reconsider their security policies and NATO membership is now more likely.

Both countries are worried that they could be exposed during the application process. This could take as long as a year for all NATO members to approve.

After meeting U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken, Linde said, “Naturally I’m not going into any details but I feel very certain that now we have an American guarantee.”

She added that there were no concrete security guarantees and they are only available to full NATO members.

Linde declined to disclose the assurances that she received from Blinken.

She stated that Russia could be clear that they would not allow any negative activities to be directed against Sweden, as they threatened.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement after the meeting stating that Blinken had reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to NATO’s policy of welcoming new member countries, but did not mention security assurances.

Last month, Sweden’s defense minister stated that a Russian application could trigger a variety of responses. This includes cyber attacks and hybrid measures such as propaganda campaigns to undermine Sweden’s security.

Moscow warned that it could use nuclear weapons and hypersonic rockets in Europe’s Kaliningrad exclave if Sweden or Finland join NATO.

Linde will be traveling to Canada to meet with Canadian officials to discuss security issues. Linde said that the United States is strongly in favor of Sweden and Finland joining NATO. This would improve stability in the Baltic, and Arctic regions.

Both Finland and Sweden are expected to decide whether they will apply for NATO membership this month.


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