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Sweden’s Unexpected Bid to Join NATO: A Waiting Game

A Break in Sweden’s Neutrality: Their Unexpected NATO Bid

Well folks, have you heard of this interesting situation developing in NATO? Sweden, after upholding a tradition of non-alignment for years, has decided to throw its hat into the NATO ring. This shift comes as a result of the war between Russia and Ukraine. However, Sweden’s membership is currently on hold. Want to know why? Sit tight, as we delve into the intrigue of international politics.

Politics at Play and The Waiting Game

Only two countries are yet to give Sweden a green check – Turkey and Hungary. Even though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to put forward the ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership to his parliament in a previous NATO summit in Vilnius, there hasn’t been much progress since Turkey’s legislative assembly convened. So, what’s the hold up?

“I now expect that the Turkish government will submit the accession protocol to the Grand National Assembly and work with the
assembly to ensure speedy ratification,” NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg said in response to the delay.

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So Turkey has confirmed its support for Sweden’s bid. However, there may be more than meets the eye behind this delay.

Ulterior Motives?

From what we gather from the diplomatic grapevine, it seems Turkey might be wanting a bit more than just a simple ratification. Apparently, Turkey has been angling for some modernised F-16 fighter jets to revamp its ageing air force. Insiders say this could be why they’re holding off on Sweden’s membership. The US, a major NATO power, is stuck in the middle as its congress alarms over aiding Ankara due to some contentious issues.

Sweden Plays Catch Up while Pressure Builds

Meanwhile, expectant Sweden is standing in the wings, waiting for its moment. It’s interesting to note that Finland, who also applied to join NATO alongside Sweden, got all clear to join in April. Well, that must be a wee bit frustrating for our Swedes!

In Nato’s recent defence ministry meeting, there appeared to be a united front of pressure from the other members towards Ankara and Budapest, to give the thumbs up for Sweden. But whether the pressure will speed up matters is a story for another day.

A Waiting Game with High Stakes

Given the current geopolitical climate, Sweden’s aim to join NATO could have serious implications. The circle of those calling for a swift conclusion to this Swedish ‘will they – won’t they’ situation is also growing steadily. This hints at the wider implications for the North Atlantic region’s security dynamic. The clock is ticking, and we can all agree that’s it’s not just Sweden eagerly waiting for the final call.

So, whether you’re an expat from one of the NATO countries or a resident in Sweden, keep an eye on how this situation unfolds. After all, local matters have a way of becoming global. And remember, we’re all in this ‘life’ together – not just as countries, but as a planet.

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