Friday 8 March 2024

NATO Officially Adds New Member State

 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officially added a new member state on Wednesday as Sweden became the 32nd country to join the alliance.

The entry of the Scandinavian country, which borders Russia, comes two years after Russia invaded Ukraine, starting the biggest war on the European continent since World War II.

“This is a historic day. Sweden will now take its rightful place at NATO’s table, with an equal say in shaping NATO policies and decisions,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “After over 200 years of non-alignment Sweden now enjoys the protection granted under Article 5, the ultimate guarantee of Allies’ freedom and security.”

Article 5 ensures that member states are protected from attacks by requiring all member states to come to the aid of any country that is attacked. The only time that Article 5 has ever been activated was after Islamic terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001.

“Sweden brings with it capable armed forces and a first-class defence industry,” Stoltenberg added. “Sweden’s accession makes NATO stronger, Sweden safer and the whole Alliance more secure. Today’s accession demonstrates that NATO’s door remains open and that every nation has the right to choose its own path.”

Sweden’s entrance into NATO marks the end of a nearly 80-year post-World War II era of neutrality for the country.

Sweden is now the second country to join NATO since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the war in Ukraine as Finland joined the organization last year.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “everything changed” for the organization after Russia invaded Ukraine and that “everything that Putin sought to prevent, he has actually precipitated by his actions, by his aggression.”


“Swedes realized something very profound: that if Putin was willing to try to erase one neighbor from the map, then he might well not stop there,” he said.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that Sweden’s entrance into NATO was a “historic day” for the country.

“We are humbled, but we are also proud,” he said. “We will live up to high expectations from all NATO allies. United we stand. Unity and solidarity will be Sweden’s guiding light.”

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