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19 Jun, 2023 03:11

Swedish politicians seek to justify NATO application

The Nordic country’s defense committee reportedly plans to warn of alleged dangers coming from Moscow
Swedish politicians seek to justify NATO application

A Russian attack on Sweden cannot be entirely excluded, Swedish state broadcaster SVT said on Sunday, citing a report prepared by the country’s parliamentary defense committee. The claims come as Stockholm attempts to join the US-led NATO military bloc, abandoning decades of neutrality.

“An armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out,” the broadcaster cited a report prepared by the country’s parliamentary defense committee. 

“Russia has also further lowered its threshold for the use of military force and exhibits a high political and military risk appetite,” the document stated, according to SVT. “Russia’s ability to carry out operations with air forces, naval forces, long-range weapons or nuclear weapons against Sweden remains intact.” 

The report is due to be presented to the public on Monday. SVT cited an unnamed person who worked on the document as saying that officials intend to send “a clear signal to Russia.” 

Last year, Sweden walked away from its long-standing policy of non-alignment and applied to join NATO, citing Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

The application process has since stalled, as Hungary and Türkiye have so far refused to approve the Nordic country’s bid.

Sweden announced plans to drastically increase its defense budget earlier this year, and, in April and May, held its largest military exercise in over 25 decades. Stockholm has supplied Kiev with heavy weapons, and pledged to deliver its German-made Leopard 2 tanks and Archer mobile artillery guns.

Russia has repeatedly said that military aid to Ukraine makes Western countries de facto direct parties to the conflict. Moscow also stressed that the continuing expansion of NATO would lead to additional escalation, and promised to adopt “countermeasures.”