Sweden and Finland: secrecy about NATO accession

Sweden and Finland: secrecy about NATO accession

Status: 04/28/2022 10:08 AM

This has been a topic in all the news programs in Sweden and Finland for several days: NATO accession – yes or no? And if so, when and how will it happen? The mill of rumours is churning.

by Sophie Donges, ARD Studio Stockholm

Little is known about the possible NATO accession of Sweden and Finland – neither about the possible decisions already made by the governments nor the exact timetable, according to Swedish journalist Matt Knutsson at SVT: “NATO There is a lot of secrecy around the process. Various meetings are taking place which are not known exactly, so there are many leaks and only indirect information.”

The rumor mill is churning

The rumor mill is churning: a Swedish and a Finnish newspaper are certain the two countries will jointly announce a decision – in the week starting May 16th.

Two things speak in its favour: Sweden announced that it would publish a security policy report on 13 May listing the pros and cons of NATO membership. Sweden originally wanted to take its time until the end of May for this assessment.

The second indicator is the state visit of Finnish President Souli Niinisto to Stockholm starting on May 17. This will be the right platform for big news affecting both the countries.

Finnish foreign minister: no concrete timetable

However, if you ask Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Havisto, there is still no concrete timetable. The processes have to be completed in both the countries first.

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Politicians in Finland and Sweden are stepping on the brakes and keeping a low profile. The Finnish Social Democrats, Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s party, wants to announce their decision on 14 May.

Audience: It’s clear

For some observers, however, the matter is clear, not yet reported. Finland will join and Sweden is most likely to join, Robert Dals of the Swedish Military Research Agency, who is also sure about it. “In Sweden, the process was a bit more dizzying and slow. Sweden was not as mentally prepared as Finland. But it is now clear that the ruling Social Democrat leadership has chosen it and is now trying to get the entire party on board . “

Swedish people are not so confident

And the Swedes are not yet as confident as the people of Finland. Not long ago, in Sweden, more than half the population said in a poll: Yes, we want membership.

A few weeks ago in Finland it was over 60 percent. There is a fear of Russia in both the countries, the elections also show the same. Sweden and the Finns are also concerned about the period from a possible decision to membership in favor of NATO.

security must be guaranteed

Security experts expect Russian provocations, such as cyber attacks, for example. According to SVT journalist Knutson, it is believed that there are already security guarantees for both countries. “It is clear that if Sweden and Finland want to become members, I would be very surprised if the United States did not guarantee military security. For the United States it is about credibility, also for NATO, which In this precarious situation, two countries have to protect the situation.”

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Security will soon be in at least one question: NATO membership – yes or no? It is to be ready in mid-May.

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