Security Pact Formed To Defend Sweden From Putin Aggression

0
376

As Finland and Sweden reportedly move towards applying for membership in NATO, which would deliver a significant strategic blow to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the U.S. and U.K. have reportedly taken tangible steps to support Sweden during this process, apparently providing backing for its ambitions. As summarized by journalist Samuel Ramani, “The U.S. and Britain have reportedly provided Sweden with security guarantees during its NATO application process… These security guarantees will not be formal, as per NATO regulations, and probably won’t be as iron-clad as Article 5. But Sweden is not going to be left alone against Russia- there could be hybrid threat assistance, cyber assistance, naval protection, and other forms of aid.” Security guarantees mean that — reportedly — the U.S. and U.K. are prepared to assist Sweden with its defense as needed in the near future.

No country involved in this reported arrangement — including the U.S., U.K., and Sweden — has confirmed the set-up, but details were reported in a prominent Swedish news outlet. These developments, of course, are unfolding in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine, which has inflicted devastation across the targeted country and claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainians. Security guarantees associated with NATO are lately among the most prominent features of the alliance. Under its provisions, countries that are members are obliged to participate in the defense of other member countries in the event of an attack — meaning that NATO members in eastern Europe like Poland can count on the prospect of U.S. assistance if Russia attacked them. In a recent speech in Warsaw, President Joe Biden reiterated the U.S. commitment to abiding by those NATO obligations; he referred to the “sacred obligation” held by the United States to participate in the defense of “each and every inch” of NATO members’ territory.

Meanwhile, authorities in Sweden and Finland have reportedly agreed on submitting simultaneous applications for membership in NATO, and those applications are apparently set to potentially emerge in about a few weeks. Details on this matter were reported by the Finnish publication Iltalehti and the Swedish outlet Expressen. According to the Finnish source, officials in Sweden “suggested the two countries indicate their willingness to join” NATO on the same day, and Finnish authorities reportedly agreed to the move “as long as the Swedish government has made its decision.” According to Expressen, the applications might be submitted to the alliance the week of May 16, when Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is set to visit Sweden. Recently, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto appeared to indicate that some of the most recent threatening comments from Russian leaders about Finland potentially joining NATO wouldn’t majorly affect Finland’s decision-making process in any particular fashion. Haavisto said, “It is not news that Russia is opposed to Nato enlargement, nor is it news that Russia will have to take it into account in planning its own defence.”