Swedes and Finns Favor NATO Entry for the First Time after Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Sweden and Finland have become more in favor of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine impacts the two neutral countries’ security outlook.

Polls by local broadcasters showed that 51 percent of Swedes and 48 percent of Finns now support joining the Western military alliance. That marks the first time in Sweden that the majority favors the entry.

“It’s a dramatic change in public opinion,” tweeted former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, proponent of NATO membership.

The attack on Ukraine prompted both Finland and Sweden to break their neutral stance by offering military aid to Kyiv — a first for Sweden since 1939. The situation has also prompted calls for the two Nordic countries to join the alliance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recently warned that the countries’ entry into the alliance would result in “military and political” repercussions. But Swedish and Finnish authorities retorted that this will not dictate their policy.

“I want to be extremely clear: It is Sweden that itself and independently decides on our security policy line,” Andersson said.

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