Report calls for a study on Sweden joining NATO

The NATO/OTAN logo in Norfolk, Virginia in 2012. (Paul J. Richards / AFP)
The NATO/OTAN logo in Norfolk, Virginia in 2012. (Paul J. Richards / AFP)
A new study into Sweden’s international security cooperation recommends that there ought to be another study into whether Sweden should join the Western military alliance NATO.

The study, by former Moscow ambassador Tomas Bertelman, was commissioned by the previous center-right government. One of the parties in that coalition, the Liberals, have long been strong advocates of NATO membership. In the report, Bertelman writes that Sweden already has very close cooperation with NATO, but lacks the protection that membership would bring.

Sweden’s new Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist tells the TT news agency that there are no plans for a further study into NATO membership.

A new poll shows that more Swedes favor join NATO than oppose for the first time, narrowly, but the number is still well below a majority. The survey conducted by Novus for TV4 showed 37 percent support, with 36 against.

The military’s recent fruitless hunt for “foreign underwater activity” in the Stockholm archipelago may have influenced public opinion.

Related stories from around the North:

Finland:  Finland’s president sees rising non-civilian traffic in Baltic, Yle News

Norway:  Pacific Akulas arrive in Severodvinsk, Russia, Barents Observer

Russia:  Russia says no need for NATO in Arctic, expands own military presence, Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s military is in touch with “something” in sub hunt: reports, Radio Sweden

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