NATO step up presence on Sweden border as it joins Alliance, says Stoltenberg

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NATO step up presence on Sweden border as it joins Alliance, says Stoltenberg

The NATO will intensify its presence around its borders Sweden and the Baltic Sea as long as it is considered the possible request of the country to join the Alliancesaid today the its general secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, speaking on Swedish public television SVT.

Sweden and neighboring Finland are not members of NATO. But Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have led the two countries to reconsider their security policy and are more likely to seek membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Both countries are seeking security guarantees during the process, as it may take up to a year for their request to be approved by NATO member states.

“I am convinced that we will find solutions to Sweden’s security needs during the transition period”Stoltenberg told SVT. “Once Sweden submits the request – and NATO says it wants to join – NATO pledges to guarantee its security”he continued, adding that this includes increasing the Pact ‘s presence around Sweden and the Baltic.

Moscow has warned Sweden and Finland of the “serious consequences” of the move and has threatened to develop nuclear weapons and supersonic missiles in the Kaliningrad enclave if the two countries join NATO. On Wednesday, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said the United States had given Stockholm “security assurances” for the transition period, but not “specific security guarantees”.

Sweden and Finland are expected to decide whether to apply within the month.

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