1.Military conflict in Eastern Ukraine and agressive policy of Russia is a threat for peace and stability in Europe, especially in Eastern (North Eastern) NATO flank (or in Eeastern-North Eastern Europe). Could this threat be a factor for changing Sweden’s attitude toward membership in NATO? It seems that in Sweden support for NATO memebership is increasing. So is it possible that the Russian agressive policy would result in Sweden applying for NATO memebership in near future? Are we in turning point of history that could result in Sweden’s membership in NATO? It would be huge streghtening for NATO position in the North Eastern Europe.
Lars Adaktusson´s answer: There is no doubt that Russia´s behavior the last years has changed the way Sweden and Swedes perceive the security situation in Europe and in the neighborhood. Last year Russia violated Swedish territory and air space with submarines and air crafts – acts that have contributed to increased tensions in the Baltic sea region. As a result, the support for Nato membership is increasing in Sweden and is now at historically top levels.
2.What would happen if Sweden remains outside NATO? Maybe some kind of ”closer cooperation” between Sweden and NATO would be applied in such scenario? If so, how such ”closer cooperation” would look like? Sweden is trying to deepen its military cooperation with Finland, but it may be not sufficient to deter threat of Russian agression in near future…
Lars Adaktusson´s answer: There has been close cooperation between Sweden and Nato for decades. This has deepened the last years and Sweden participates regularly in exercises and different Nato missions. Simultaneously, Sweden seeks deeper cooperation unilaterally with other countries in the area: agreements with Finland and Denmark were signed recently.
3.What would Sweden do if Finland apply for NATO membership? Would Sweden be the next?
Lars Adaktusson´s answer: If Finland would apply for Nato membership this would definitely speed up the process of Swedish membership. But since the Swedish Social democratic party are still (formerly) 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 Personally I m a strong advocate for Swedish membership and I believe that Swedish neutrality is obsolete: we build security in the neighborhood together with other democracies.