NATO Makes It Official

( – Happening at a time of increased global tensions from all corners, Sweden finally transitioned from its longstanding stance of neutrality to become the 32nd country to join NATO.

A signature of its post-World War II diplomacy, Sweden’s middle-of-the-road stance suffered a change driven by heightened concerns over Russian military aggressiveness, particularly after the 2022 incursion into Ukraine.

The ceremony marking Sweden’s formal integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was held at the State Department, with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken overseeing the proceedings. “Good things come to those who wait,” remarked Blinken during the event.

Following this significant moment, Kristersson is scheduled for discussions at the White House and will be distinguished as the guest of honor at Joe Biden’s address to Congress.

A statement from the White House read, “NATO is the most powerful defensive alliance in the history of the world, and it is as critical today to ensuring the security of our citizens as it was 75 years ago when our alliance was founded out of the wreckage of World War II,” it said in a statement.”

Sweden and Finland, which embraced NATO membership the previous year, revised their long-established policy of military neutrality, a keystone of their Cold War-era foreign policy, in reaction to Russia’s aggressive moves in Ukraine.

In his forthcoming address to Congress, Biden is anticipated to spotlight Sweden’s NATO entry as a testament to the failure of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempts to fragment and weaken the alliance, spurred by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Additionally Biden is expected to use Sweden’s decision as leverage to urge hesitant Republicans to endorse the pending military support for Ukraine as the conflict stretches into its second year.

The endorsement of Sweden’s NATO membership faced delays due to reservations from NATO members Turkey and Hungary, with Turkey raising alarms over Sweden’s alleged sheltering of groups it deems terrorist and Hungary showing a shift toward Russia.

The deadlock was resolved when Turkey agreed to Sweden’s membership earlier in the year followed by Hungary’s endorsement earlier this week.

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