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Stockholm, Sweden. Waving Swedish Flag In Stockholm Street. Stockholm, Sweden. Waving Swedish Flag

Sweden’s Big Move: Joining the NATO

Hungary Says “Yes” to Sweden in NATO

What Happened and Why It Matters

Recently, Hungary’s Parliament voted a big “yes” for Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which is a group of countries that promise to protect each other. This is a big deal because it took almost two years of talking and figuring things out. By saying yes to Sweden, NATO is getting bigger, and this is something that Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, isn’t too happy about because he doesn’t want NATO growing near his country.

Closeup shot of the waving flag of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization with interesting textures

Sweden and Hungary: Teaming Up

Before Hungary agreed, Sweden’s Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, went to Budapest to chat about how the two countries can work better together for safety and defense. They even made a deal where Hungary will get four fancy Swedish fighter jets, showing how their talks turned into real action.

A Big Change for Sweden

Sweden joining NATO is a huge change because for more than 200 years, Sweden chose to stay neutral and not pick sides in international fights. Deciding to join NATO shows Sweden wants to be more involved and stand up for values like democracy and freedom with other countries in Europe and North America.

Why NATO Getting Bigger Bugs Russia

Russia vs. NATO’s Growth

Sweden joining NATO, officially welcomed by NATO’s boss, Jens Stoltenberg, is tricky for Russia. Russia has always been nervous about NATO getting too close to its borders, and Sweden (along with Finland) joining makes NATO’s edge even closer to Russia. This move goes against what Russia wants, which is to keep NATO away.

The “All for One” Rule

NATO has a rule that if one country in the group is attacked, it’s like attacking all of them, which is called collective defense. By Sweden and Finland joining, they get this protection too, making them safer under NATO’s big umbrella.

How Countries Join NATO

NATO has a policy that lets new countries join if they want to and agree with what NATO stands for. But, every country already in NATO has to agree on letting new ones in. This is why it took a while for Sweden to join, because countries like Hungary and Turkey had to be okay with it first.

So, with Hungary’s thumbs up, Sweden is now stepping into a new role in the big world of international defense with NATO, stirring the pot a bit with Russia and changing the security scene in Europe.

FAQ: Sweden Joins NATO

1. Why did Hungary have to approve Sweden’s NATO membership?
Hungary’s approval was crucial because NATO requires a unanimous vote from all existing member countries to admit a new member. This means every single country in the alliance had to agree on letting Sweden join.

2. What does Sweden joining NATO mean for Russia?
Sweden’s membership in NATO is seen as a challenge to Russia because it doesn’t want NATO expanding closer to its borders. NATO’s presence near Russia is viewed by the Kremlin as a threat, so Sweden (and Finland) joining the alliance adds tension between NATO and Russia.

3. What changes for Sweden after joining NATO?
By joining NATO, Sweden is moving away from over 200 years of neutrality. This means Sweden is now part of a military alliance and commits to mutual defense with other member countries. It’s a significant shift in Sweden’s foreign policy towards more active participation in collective security.

4. What is the significance of the fighter jet deal between Sweden and Hungary?
The deal where Hungary buys Swedish fighter jets symbolizes the strengthening of defense and security cooperation between the two countries. It’s a tangible outcome of their discussions and shows how NATO members can work together on defense matters.

5. How does NATO’s collective defense principle work with new members like Sweden?
NATO’s collective defense, known as Article 5, means that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all members. For Sweden, this means gaining a security guarantee from the entire alliance, ensuring that if Sweden were attacked, other NATO countries would come to its defense.

Sources CNN