By Tamara Peredo
Since the upcoming tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the Swedish government have stood their ground of not joining NATO. But the situation may change, as Sweden’s action appears to back NATO’s stance to support Ukraine.
It was in November that satellite imagery showed that 10,000 Russian soldiers were mobilised to the border to Ukraine. This led to Sweden sending military reinforcement to Gotland, in an act based on defending Sweden from a possible attack from Russia.
The Swedish defence minister Hultqvist explained that even if they are not part of NATO, they can and will defend themselves, as well as other countries if needed.
Hultqvist said: “We have around 20 defence cooperation agreements with other countries. We have also very deep relations with Finland with military planning.” He expressed that Sweden does not have any intentions of joining NATO, since they do not find it necessary because of cooperation agreements they have with other countries.
The situation for the members of NATO changed when the US came to an agreement with Ukraine, stating that they along with their allies will act “decisively” if Russia decides to invade Ukraine.
Following this several NATO members started to take a stance with the Ukrainian government. Either by making an official statement—like Germany, where the German foreign minister said: “We need to continue support the Ukrainian government very clearly and above all maintain the stability of the country,”—or by leading multinational battlegrounds, like Canada who leads a group from Latvia of 1,500 troops.
The Swedish foreign minister Ann Linde explained that they have no intentions of supplying weapons to Ukraine but stated their support in a different way. She said: “But we support Ukraine in many ways, primarily through a very high level of assistance in the field of reforms.”
The Swedish government are following through the statement that their defence minister made of defending other countries as well if needed, whether they are part of NATO or not.