Europe

Swedish premier rejects holding referendum on NATO membership

Holding referendum on this issue is ‘bad idea,’ says Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson

Ahmet Gençtürk   | 28.04.2022
Swedish premier rejects holding referendum on NATO membership Prime Minister of Sweden Eva Magdalena Andersson

ANKARA

The Swedish government on Thursday rejected the idea of holding a referendum on the country’s possible NATO membership, local media reported on Thursday. 

Speaking at a news conference, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, asserted that holding a referendum on the matter is a “bad idea,” according to public broadcaster SVT.

“This is an issue that I do not think is suitable for a referendum,” she said.

Her remarks came in response to a demand by opposition Left Party (V) to hold a referendum.

Similarly, Foreign Minister Ann Linde voiced opposition to the referendum and stressed that the country’s security policy is decided by the government in consultation with parliament.

According to media reports, Finland and Sweden agreed to file their application for NATO membership together in mid-May.

The two countries had been strictly militarily neutral during the Cold War and struck a partnership agreement with NATO in 1995.

The support for NATO membership has significantly increased in both countries after Russia launched a war against neighboring Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly expressed opposition to Finland or Sweden joining NATO. In starting its war on Ukraine, Moscow cited the possibility the country might join NATO, although its membership process had barely begun.

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