The majority of Swedes are in favor of joining NATO, a poll on Friday showed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a rapid shift in attitude towards a country that has long been known for its neutrality.
Sweden has not been at war since 1814 and has developed its foreign policy on the basis of “non-participation in military alliances.” Neutralized during World War II, the invasion of neighboring Nordic countries, and the Cold War.
According to a Demoskop poll conducted in the Aftonbladet newspaper, 51% of Swedes support NATO, up from 42% in January. Opposition to the merger dropped from 37% to 27%. This is the first time there has been a majority in favor of this type of poll.
However, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hulkquist said joining NATO was not an easy decision and could not be rushed only on the basis of recent events.
“Changing security theory is a huge decision, so you can not do it overnight, you can not do it because of opinion polls,” he told a news conference in Copenhagen, where he met with his colleagues Dance and Brits.
Sweden and Finland already have very close cooperation with NATO and have been invited to the recent summit. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the two countries could join the coalition “very soon” if they decide to run in January.
“Sweden is incredibly close to the UK and it is unthinkable that the UK will not come and support Sweden under any circumstances,” said British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.