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Sweden Raises National Flag at NATO Headquarters

Sweden officially raised its national flag at NATO headquarters, marking its entry as the 32nd member of NATO. This act followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which spurned the decision from Sweden.

Flag Ceremony

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Several Swedish dignitaries witnessed the flag-raising ceremony while it was raining in Brussels, Belgium.

Public Opinion Shift

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When Russia invaded Ukraine, public opinion in Sweden shifted, with many seeing NATO membership as a logical option to ensure their national safety.

Historic Decision

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By joining NATO, Sweden has ended decades of neutrality. This follows a similar move by Finland in April 2023.

Alliance Solidarity

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Finland welcomed Sweden into NATO, emphasizing the beginning of a new dawn as a symbol of solidarity with other allies during times of peace and crisis. 

Impact of Russian Invasion

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Putin’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a surge in NATO membership applications from several countries, including Sweden and Finland, demonstrating the alliance’s appeal amidst security concerns.

NATO’s Resilience

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg highlighted NATO’s resilience in the face of Russian aggression, emphasizing the alliance’s growth and support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Collective Security Guarantee

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Sweden benefits from NATO’s collective security guarantee outlined in its policy, which ensures a unified response to any attack on its territory.

Upholding NATO Values

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At the ceremony, a dignitary affirmed Sweden’s commitment to NATO’s values and its pledge to uphold the principles of the alliance that founded the Washington Treaty. 

Military Drills

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Along with raising the flag, NATO has begun conducting drills involving approximately 20,000 troops from 13 countries to demonstrate its defensive capabilities.

Steadfast Defender 24

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The Nordic drill is part of NATO’s most extensive ongoing exercise, Steadfast Defender 24. It involves roughly 90,000 troops over several months. 

Commitment to Alliance

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As part of the ceremony, Sweden pledged to share its burdens with its NATO allies and committed to leveraging its well-trained forces to meet alliance objectives.

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