Polens största nyhetssida på nätet Onet.pl har intervjuat mig om NATO och säkerhetsläget i Nordeuropa. Intervjun är publicerad på polska här. Nedan återgiven på engelska.
Mr Adaktusson, since 2014 there is ongoing debate in Sweden about possible NATO membership. Is there a chance to strengthen military ties between Sweden and NATO? Should Sweden be ready to accept NATO presence on Swedish soil if there would be a serious threat for Swedish security from Russia?
– The debate about a possible Swedish membership in NATO has been going on for a long time but has been intensified over the last years after an increase of aggressive actions from Russia. At present a majority of the Swedish public is in favour of a membership but there is still a lack of majority in the Swedish parliament due to the reluctance of Social Democrats to take further steps towards membership. Despite the lack of a formal membership there has been a close cooperation between Sweden and NATO for decades and Sweden participates regularly in exercises and in different NATO missions abroad. If Finland would apply for NATO membership this would probably speed up the process of a Swedish membership. But since the Swedish Social Democrats are still against membership this has to change in order for Sweden to have a firm parliamentary majority for membership. Personally I m a strong advocate for Swedish membership and I believe that the current position is obsolete: we build security in the neighbourhood together with other democracies. As a non-member NATO protection on Swedish territory in a threatening situation is not a guarantee. That is one of the most important reasons why Sweden should join the alliance: It is too late to buy a house insurance when the building is already on fire.
What could be the other security scenario for Sweden – besides NATO? Could closer military ties with The United States be good alternative? The United States is the major power within NATO so maybe Sweden could forge closer bilateral alliance with Washington?
– Closer ties with the US is of course essential. But over the last years Sweden has mainly deepened its cooperation with countries in the Baltic region: agreements with Finland and Denmark were signed in the past years. Also, closer ties with other members of the European Union has been prioritized as no European nation today is able to handle the geopolitical threat on its own. I believe that we more than ever before need unity, cohesion – and a solid, effective and future oriented European cooperation regarding defence – with strong transatlantic ties.
Mr Adaktusson, what about Poland? Poland is crucial state of NATO Eastern flank and has long Baltic seacost. Should Poland be more active political and military player in the Baltic sea region? Maybe it would be useful to engage Poland more in the issues of the Baltic Sea region?
– The security in the Baltic Sea region is of crucial interest for both our countries. From my point of view a more active Poland in the Baltic region serves the interest of Sweden. There is no doubt that Russia´s aggressive behaviour over the last years has changed the security situation for both Sweden and Poland. Last year Russia violated Swedish territory and air space with submarines and air crafts – acts that have contributed to increased tensions. The more Swede, Poland and other democratic states around the Baltic Sea can cooperate in security issues to counter balance Russia – the better.
There is NATO Summit in Warsaw in July. Mr Adaktusson, would You expect that Sweden could announce some its decisions in security policy towards NATO?
– This week the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed the 4th of September 2014 will be voted in the Swedish parliament. Depending on the outcome the eventual changes in relationship between NATO and Sweden will be the focal point of the discussions. From my perspective I hope that the Memorandom will be accepted and that further steps towards closer cooperation between Sweden and NATO can proceed.