NATO’s European nations embrace Sweden’s entry

Sweden’s formal induction into NATO was met with acclaim from major European countries on Thursday, marking a significant moment in the alliance’s history. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, celebrating the occasion on X, highlighted NATO’s enduring legacy as a defender of freedom and democracy. Similarly, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store reached out to Sweden’s Ulf Kristersson to express his congratulations on the membership.

Belgium’s Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib extended a warm welcome to Sweden on X, emphasizing unity with the hashtags #StrongerTogether and #WeareNATO. The Netherlands’ Foreign Minister, Hanke Bruins Slot, remarked on X that Sweden’s addition fortifies the alliance further.

Romanian Foreign Minister Luminita Odobescu, recognizing Sweden as the 32nd member of NATO, looked forward to the upcoming meeting of NATO foreign ministers with her Swedish counterpart. Leaders from Lithuania and Finland, Ingrida Simonyte and Petteri Orpo respectively, shared their greetings through video messages on X.

Greece’s Defense Minister Nikos Dendias welcomed Sweden, acknowledging the alliance’s role in defending not just territories but values as well.

This expansion follows Sweden and Finland’s decision to seek NATO membership in May 2022, driven by concerns over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Finland, bordering Russia, became the 31st member earlier in April 2023.

Sweden’s path to membership concluded after Hungary ratified its application last week, with Türkiye having done so in January. A ceremonial raising of Sweden’s flag at NATO headquarters in Brussels is scheduled for Monday, symbolizing its accession alongside the other 31 nations.–Web Desk