The Sweden Democrats’ leaders want the party to change its membership in NATO if Finland applies to join the alliance
The leader of Sweden’s second largest opposition party will, if the neighbor Finland were to apply to join NATO, propose that his party change its attitude to favor Swedish membership, he tells Svenska Dagbladet. A change of position from the Sweden Democrats’ party would mean a swing to a parliamentary majority in order for a long-neutral Sweden to join the alliance.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led the two countries to consider joining, although Sweden is more dubious than Finland, which has a 1,300 km long border with Russia. The Finnish government has said it will clarify the next steps in the coming weeks regarding a possible decision to apply for membership.
“Then (if Finland applies) my ambition is to go to the party council with a request that we change,” the newspaper quoted on Saturday the Sweden Democrats’ party leader Jimmie Åkesson in an interview. “What has changed now is that Finland is very clearly moving towards NATO membership and there are many indications that this may happen in the near future. That, and the fact that Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, is completely alone, has made me turn around. “
The nationalist Sweden Democrats said last month, after a survey showed that a majority of Swedes are in favor of joining NATO for the first time, that they are reviewing their stance.
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