"Though we have acheived progress, our work is not over. That is why I support the mission of the Arms Control Association. It is, quite simply, the most effective and important organization working in the field today." 

– Larry Weiler
Former U.S.-Russian arms control negotiator
August 7, 2018
Sweden Joins NATO
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April 2024

Two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sweden officially joined NATO amid rising concerns that the war might spill into other European countries.

On March 7, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson handed over accession documents to the United States during a ceremony in Washington, culminating a process in which the allies unanimously approved the addition of the new member.

"Sweden is a safer country today than we were yesterday…. We have taken out an insurance in the Western defense alliance," he said.

The move is seen as a major blow to Russia, which long has opposed NATO expansion.

As a member, Sweden has pledged to adhere to NATO’s doctrine of common defense, by which allies agree to defend
any other NATO ally that comes under military attack by another country.

Now that it has joined NATO, Sweden is considering reinforcing Gotland, a strategic island in the Baltic Sea that is close to Russia and key to the defense of the Baltic states.

In an interview with the Financial Times on March 14, Kristersson confirmed that ways to protect Gotland are on the list of issues being discussed with the allies. He acknowledged that Sweden only has a “small” military presence on the island.

Sweden is the 32nd country to join NATO, following Finland, which formally became a member in April 2023. Both countries applied for membership in May 2022, abandoning their long-held neutrality, the hallmark of their Cold War foreign policy. Polls showed that public opinion on nonalignment shifted drastically after Russia invaded Ukraine.—CHRIS ROSTAMPOUR