NATO may base troops in Sweden, sending clear signal to Russia: Stockholm

    WORLD  10 June 2023 - 12:09

    NATO will be allowed to base its troops on Swedish soil even before Sweden becomes a member of the alliance, the country’s prime minister and defense minister announced on June 9.

    The decision to permit NATO troops on its territory sends a clear signal to Russia and it strengthens Sweden's defense at a time when it is facing the most serious security situation since the end of World War II, according to Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristensen and Defense Minister Pal Jonson.

    "In the event of a crisis or war, we need to be able to quickly bring the military resources of other nations into our territory, something that requires both planning, preparation, and practice," Kristensen and Jonson wrote in a joint opinion piece published by daily Dagens Nyheter, Anadolu reports.

    Russia continues to pose a threat to neighboring countries, they said, adding that Moscow has shown that it is prepared to take “very large military and political risks” to achieve its geopolitical goals.

    “It is impossible to say where the limits of President Vladimir Putin's territorial ambitions lie,” said Kristensen and Jonson.

    Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, both Sweden and Finland initially formally applied to join the alliance together in May last year, however, only the neighboring Finland, which has a long border with Russia, managed to join NATO earlier this year.

    Sweden now hopes to join during a NATO summit in Lithuania next month but Türkiye – a NATO member for more than 70 years – voiced objections, accusing the two countries of tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups, including the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Türkiye.

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