Swedish PM insists on right to set alliances in defiance of Russia

Swedish PM insists on right to set alliances in defiance of Russia
Sweden's prime minister, Madgalena Andersson, said that her country reserved the right to decide its own security alliances. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/TT
Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has pushed back against Russia's demand that Nato rule out future eastward expansion, underlining her country's right to set its own alliances

“The European security order is non-negotiable,” she said in a press statement. “In Sweden, it is we ourselves who get to decide on our foreign and security policy and who we choose to cooperate with.”

Ulf Kristersson, leader of Sweden’s centre-right Moderate Party opposition, on Tuesday called for the Swedish government to follow suit and assert Sweden’s right to decide its own alliances.

Defence minister Peter Hultqvist stated before Christmas that the Russian demand was “totally unacceptable”, but he also stressed that Sweden had no plans to join the alliance “either now or in the future”, which drew criticism from right-wing parties. 

READ ALSO: Is Russia pushing Sweden towards Nato membership?

On Thursday, Andersson held calls with both Niinistö and Nato’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenburg, in which she discussed the threat of Russia’s military build-up on its border with Ukraine. Russia now has about 100,000 troops waiting at the Ukrainian border.

Sweden’s foreign minister Ann Linde arrived in the US on Wednesday night for three days of talks with top US officials on the security situation and on climate change. 


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