Sweden not considering NATO membership for now: Prime minister


STOCKHOLM - Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Wednesday that her country is not considering membership in NATO for now, as it would destabilize the security situation in Europe.

She reiterated remarks made the previous day that "Sweden does not look warmly at NATO membership."

Andersson noted, however, that "we are not sitting still in the boat.”

“After the risk environment raised by the Russian military took on an aggressive tone, we strengthened Sweden's defense and increased our international cooperation.

“The basis of the European security system is formed by the fact that each country implements its own security policy. So we created our own security system," she added.

- Finnish parliament to hold session on NATO membership

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said a session of parliament will be held soon on Finland's NATO membership.

Speaking after meeting with reporters, Marin said she hoped that a consensus would emerge from the session.

"I hope that with a possible decision to come out of the session in the coming days, a consensus will be formed for NATO membership. Later, we will announce Finland's NATO decision within the framework of this decision," Marin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has cited NATO’s expansion as an issue in launching Russia’s war on Ukraine. Moscow has warned of military consequences if either Finland or Sweden were to join the alliance.

Noting that Sweden will develop security cooperation with the US and neighboring countries, Andersson said they will strengthen their defense with the US and Finland due to Russia's aggressive attitude towards Ukraine and European security.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which started on Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation, led to financial sanctions on Moscow and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia, including McDonald's and Starbucks over the last 24 hours.

At least 516 civilians have been killed and 908 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched the war against its neighbor, according to UN figures, with the real toll feared to be higher.

More than 2.1 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN Refugee Agency. []

Source: Anadolu

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