Sweden participates in all meetings of NATO members, including the Vilnius Summit, ministerial meetings, etc., without being formally a member of the alliance. Thus, Stockholm has gained the ability to participate in discussing, drafting and coordinating NATO decisions without assuming obligations to contribute to the security and defense of the countries being members of the alliance. How did this happen?
Sweden applied to join NATO but did not join the bloc. Sweden skillfully manipulates the alliance and, first of all, Turkey, its member, delaying the ratification of Ankara’s application. As a prerequisite for approving the same, Ankara and Stockholm agreed on Stockholm neutralizing the activities of anti-Turkish entities in Sweden. Such a Turkish demand is logical in relation to the future bloc ally. However, every time Ankara is willing to accept Stockholm’s progress in implementing those agreements, anti-Turkish and anti-Islamic campaigns take place in Sweden, which is not acceptable between future allies.
In response, Turkey is forced to postpone the ratification of the Swedish NATO membership application. Such a reaction on the part of Ankara to the regular public burning of the Koran authorized by Stockholm that offend the feelings of Muslims and spark indignation in the Islamic world is justified.
Despite Ankara’s obvious reaction, why do the Swedish authorities continue to provoke it? The answer is plane to see – Stockholm seeks to maintain the status quo, that is being in the process of joining NATO, without actually joining it. In its current ‘almost bloc member’ status, it has gained more in terms of its security than Norway, Finland or the neighboring Baltic states can boast of.
What has Sweden achieved? Sweden is surrounded by NATO members and is involved in the activities of the alliance’s bodies, i.e., Stockholm has succeeded in enhancing its security level while maintaining the possibility of distancing itself from getting directly involved in a war on NATO’s side. Covered by Finland, a NATO member, from the ‘Russian threat’, Sweden is also protected by other bloc members’ commitment to defend Finnish territory in the event of an armed conflict. At the same time, Sweden is not obliged to defend Finland or other NATO countries.
What is the reason behind Sweden’s Janus-faced policy? Sweden’s history attests to the fact that it has not participated in military conflicts for over 200 years. Previously, the Kingdom of Sweden entered into wars with the aim to expand its landholdings by capturing neighboring territories such as Finland, Estonia, Norway, etc. The kingdom, however, has not fought for the sake of defending the independence of other countries. And nowadays, the Swedes will not opt for defending Finns, Estonians, Latvians or Lithuanians. The current situation shows that Stockholm is only interested in creating a ‘NATO cordon’ via Finland between itself and Russia. Stockholm has successfully solved this problem by bustling Helsinki into NATO. At the same time, Sweden retains the opportunity to stay away from the aggravation of relations between Moscow and the alliance.