For First Time, More Swedes Favor Joining NATO than Against

Sweden is a NATO partner and has a delegation at NATO headquartersMore Swedes are in favour of joining Nato than are against for the first time in the Nordic country’s history, according to a poll just a week after a hunt for a suspected submarine in the waters outside Stockholm.

In a new poll by Novus for TV4 conducted over the weekend, 37 per cent of Swedes said they supported joining Nato while 36 per cent were against. Five months ago a poll showed 28 per cent in favour and 56 per cent against.

Since then, Sweden has seen its biggest military mobilisation since the Cold War as it hunted for a foreign submarine, presumed to be Russian, in the seas around the 30,000 islands of the Stockholm archipelago.

It has also suffered what Carl Bildt, the former Swedish foreign minister, classed as its worst air incursion in at least a decade as a Russian plane violated its airspace. . . .

Sweden’s potential vulnerability on defence was underlined last year when Russian planes simulated a bombing raid on Stockholm but no Swedish jets were scrambled to meet them as there was no crew on high alert over the Easter weekend. Sweden’s armed forces chief said the country could defend itself against a limited attack for “about a week on our own” while just 6 per cent of Swedes said they had trust in the country’s ability to defend itself.

Image: Sweden is a NATO partner and has a delegation at NATO headquarters (graphic: Swedish Foreign Ministry)