STOCKHOLM, May 4 (Reuters) – Sweden has received guarantees from the United States that it will be supported in the decision-making process by the 30 member countries of NATO if it were to apply to join the Transatlantic Alliance, Sweden’s Foreign Minister said on Wednesday.
Left out of NATO during the Cold War, Sweden and Finland have been rethinking their security strategies since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and then launched an invasion of Ukraine last February.
In Stockholm as in Helsinki, there are concerns that the filing of an application to join NATO will make the two countries vulnerable during the decision-making process, which can take a year.
“Obviously I’m not going to go into details, but I’m sure now that we have an American guarantee,” Ann Linde told Swedish television after speaking in Washington with her counterpart Antony Blinken.
“However, no security guarantees, which only NATO members have,” she added, refusing to give details on the guarantees offered by the American secretary of state.
Ann Linde said that “Russia can be certain that if it takes any negative activity against Sweden, as it has threatened to do, it is not something that the United States will allow … without answer”.
(Report Simon Johnson; French version Jean Terzian)