In a historic vote, the Swedish parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining NATO, with 269 votes for, 37 against and 43 abstentions. The decision comes almost a year after the government applied to join the military alliance in May 2022. The move marks a significant departure from Sweden’s traditional policy of neutrality that has been in place since 1815.
Foreign Minister Ann Linde described the vote as “a milestone in Sweden’s security policy” and she said “Sweden will be safer and more secure and we will be a security provider to the alliance.” The government had cited the Ukraine and Russia war as its reasoning for abandoning its neutral stance. The Swedish application still needs to be ratified by all other NATO members before Sweden can officially join the organization.
The decision to join NATO was a momentous one for the Swedish parliament and will have many implications for the future. It signals a shift away from Sweden’s traditional policy of neutrality, as well as an increased commitment to international security through collective action. As Sweden moves towards joining the military alliance, it is expected that the country will become increasingly interconnected with its fellow NATO allies in the years to come.