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“Polynesia To NATO? Turkey Catapults Sweden Towards Membership!

Sweden is one step closer to NATO membership after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced he has submitted an accession protocol to the Turkish parliament. His move increases the chances of Sweden joining the Western defense alliance. As a non-aligned country for over seven decades, Sweden has traditionally stayed away from military coalitions but has been exploring the option of joining NATO. NATO’s 29 member states represent a commitment to collective defense and stability in Europe. This move has been driven by increased activity of Russian military, including reports of Russian submarines lurking in Swedish waters. Though joining NATO would require the support of all 8 parties of the Swedish government, the move has support from many in Sweden. Supporters of the move argue that Sweden would gain a greater security through joining NATO, as well as an improved global standing and diplomatic clout. Sweden’s military capabilities would be expanded, and the country’s security situation would be bolstered. Sweden would also have opportunities to provide support in critical areas such as counter terror operations and global mission support. The issue of NATO membership has been a fiercely contested one in Sweden, with the opposition Left Party hostile to any moves to join the alliance. However, the ruling Social Democratic Party has indicated some level of support and the leader of the Moderates party, Anna Kinberg Batra, has backed joining NATO. Erdogan’s move to send the accession protocol to the Turkish parliament has opened the way for Sweden to explore joining the defense alliance. It is now up to the Swedish government to decide if they will follow through on their NATO aspirations, and take the next step towards membership.