Sweden Officially Joins NATO After Facing Obstacles For Nearly Two Years


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Jake Smith Contributor
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Sweden officially joined the NATO alliance on Thursday, marking the end of a process that took nearly two years.

Sweden will become the 32nd member of NATO, joining the U.S., U.K. and a host of other European Union nations, after facing holdouts from members like Hungary and Turkey. Sweden’s new membership marks another blow against Russia, which has been hoping to prevent the eastbound expansion of NATO. (RELATED: Hungary Gives Nod To Sweden’s NATO Bid After Months Of Holding Out)

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson transferred the necessary documentation to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to officially seal the deal, according to Axios.

“Sweden is now a NATO member. Thank you all Allies for welcoming us as the 32nd member,” Kristersson said on Thursday. “We will strive for unity, solidarity and burden-sharing, and will fully adhere to the Washington Treaty values: freedom, democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. Stronger together.”

The White House welcomed Sweden’s membership on Thursday.

“I am honored to welcome Sweden as NATO’s 32nd Ally,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “When Putin launched his brutal war of aggression against the people of Ukraine, he thought he could weaken Europe and divide NATO… With the addition of Sweden today, NATO stands more united, determined, and dynamic than ever — now 32 nations strong.”

Sweden had faced several obstacles during its ascension process.

Turkey initially blocked Sweden’s bid but agreed to approve it in July at the prospect of being transferred $20 billion worth of U.S. F-16 fighter jets. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban held out on approving Sweden’s bid for over a year, citing poor relations between the countries, but dropped the hold in February after “rebuilding trust” — and after Sweden approved the transfer of four Gripen fighter jets to Hungary.

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