Why Sweden’s Path to NATO Membership Has Been So Rocky

“Why is Sweden not already a NATO member?”

“‘Sweden had to withdraw from Northern Europe’s power politics around 1809. We got a new French king, Bernadotte, and we withdrew because we were too weakened,’ Anna Wieslander, director for Northern Europe at the Atlantic Council, tells TIME. ‘Since then, we have kept that stance but it was never treaty bound for Sweden. It was always about navigating and maneuvering in European politics.’”

“What happens next?”

“’When you have disagreement on which allies to include in NATO, that weakens NATO politically and benefits Russia,’ says Wieslander.”

Further reading

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