Zelenskiy hails Sweden’s NATO entry, eyes day Ukraine might also join

Zelenskiy hails Sweden’s NATO entry, eyes day Ukraine might also join

RFE/RL reports:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed Sweden’s entry into the NATO military alliance, largely viewed as a reaction to Russia’s invasion of his country in 2022, saying the Scandinavian country was a “strong ally and a country that can be trusted.”

Zelenskiy, who seeks eventual NATO membership for Ukraine, added that “there will be a day when Sweden will be able to congratulate Ukraine on joining the alliance as well. Together, we are always stronger.”

Sweden joined NATO in Washington on March 7, two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced it to rethink its national security policy and conclude that support for the alliance was the nation’s best safety guarantee. [Continue reading…]

Politico reports:

Sweden’s membership is a huge geopolitical boost for NATO. Alliance members now encircle the Baltic Sea (with the exception of the narrow entry to St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad). As well as making life difficult for Russia’s Baltic Sea Fleet, it also gives the alliance the ability to monitor critical pipelines and cables beneath the surface.

Sweden is also a pocket military power. Despite a population of only 10 million, and last year spending only 1.54 percent of its GDP on defense, the country’s centuries of neutrality have forced it to develop a world-class military-industrial complex.

It makes everything from Saab JAS 39 Gripen single-engine supersonic fighters to Carl Gustav recoilless rifles, AT4 shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons, Gotland-class submarines, and RBS15 anti-ship missiles. It also cooperates with other military producers, with one example being the Stridsvagn 122, the Swedish version of the German Leopard 2 tank. [Continue reading…]

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