Sweden’s ruling political party is reportedly divided on whether to join NATO, as the women’s wing of the Social Democrats has called for keeping the country militarily neutral.
Annika Strandhall, the country’s climate and environment minister, told Stockholm newspaper Svenska Dagbalet that the women’s faction of the party opposes joining NATO. The faction has “a long history and struggle in matters concerning peace, disarmament, détente and military freedom of alliance,” said Strandhall, who is federal board chair of the women’s wing.
Strandhall’s comments mark the first major political pushback against a proposal for Sweden to apply for membership of NATO and they come shortly before an assessment on the country’s security policy that is due out by May 13. The coalition government is scheduled to decide on the issue by May 24, following issuance of a position paper by the foreign ministry.