NATO allies: Why is Sweden taking its time signing up to join the club?

NATO: Addition of Sweden 'huge boost' says Caddick-Adams

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Nato could soon be adding both Finland and Sweden to its ranks, as an indirect consequence of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. But while both countries have already revealed their desire to join the alliance, Sweden is happy to take its time, it’s been claimed.

Both countries were put on red alert after Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine in March.

Russia never wanted Ukraine to join Nato, and Ukraine’s desire to join the alliance likely played a role in Putin waging war on its neighbour.

Across the Baltic Sea, threats from Russian officials aimed to dissuade Finland and Sweden from joining Nato, too.

However, it seems the the threats had the opposite effect, and both nations are now on the cusp of adding to the 30-country alliance.

Why Sweden is taking its time joining Nato

Sweden is reportedly super reluctant to join Nato, despite all signs leading that way.

Its centre-left government is already divided on membership, and hoped appetite to join the alliance might dissipate over time.

However, with Finland aiming to become part of Nato sooner rather than later, Sweden slowly began to accept its fate.

But there was still a deeper reason for Sweden’s indifference to Nato – its national identification.

The country has always tried its best to remain neutral in conflict.

So much so, that its national ID is entrenched with avoiding confrontation, according to the Financial Times.

Senior affiliate analysis fellow on the Swedish Institute of Worldwide Affairs, Gunilla Herolf, said: “In Sweden, it’s an id difficulty.

“As a result of 200-year historical past of being non-aligned, it sticks in folks as a traditional factor. Finland has had a dramatic, and generally terribly tough, scenario.”

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The geography of Scandinavia might also be playing a role in Sweden’s hesitancy.

Finland shares a land border with Russia – a stretch of land spanning more than 700 miles.

Sweden, however, is set further away from Russia, and ultimately has Finland as a buffer.

In some ways, Sweden’s defence against Russia is more reliant on Finland joining Nato than itself.

Meanwhile, Sweden has now reportedly received promises of protection from the UK and the US during its Nato application process.

While member nations are prevented from expressing any formal guarantees of protection, Swedish government sources have claimed they received similar guarantees off-the-record.

The protection would include strong political support from all Nato countries, as well as an increased military presence in the Baltic Sea.

There would also be an exchange of intelligence for impending cyberattacks and conventional threats, it’s believed.

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