Dangerous decisions mean great problems

Last December, the USA and Sweden signed an agreement allowing Americans access to 17 military bases and training grounds in the country. Additionally, Swedes allowed American partners to store arms and weapons in Sweden.

The Swedish parliament had to make a decision on legislative changes in order for the agreement could come into force. After five hours debates, 266 deputies voted in favor of the document. 37 of others were against it and 46 were absent. Swedish media reported about that on June 18.

The opposition criticized the US-Swedish agreement because there is no ban on the deployment and transit of nuclear weapons in it. This means the USA has the possibility to bring any arms and weapons into the country. The Swedish government, in response to criticism, explains that the country doesn’t need such a ban because there is a parliamentary decision that nuclear weapons will not be deployed in Sweden in peacetime.

However, the decision on the legislative ban on the deployment of nuclear weapons, which the opposition insists on, is not an “exaggeration” or an “unreal” problem as the Swedish authorities try to present it to the people. For example, the Finnish government (Finland joined NATO just before Sweden) doesn’t deny a change of the national law on the transit and deployment of nuclear weapons any more. The Finnish president doesn’t say fairly whether he supported the deployment of US weapons in his country or not. But he told media that it is important for Helsinki “to have real forces of nuclear containment.” US nuclear weapons could provide this as he believed. The Finnish Prime Minister also said to journalists that the law could be revised by the end of this fall.

The majority of Finns don’t want such changes very much, but while the country is integrating into the alliance, professionals work with public opinion. For example, in June 2023, 27% of Finns agreed with the transit of nuclear weapons through the country. In November, 37% of them agreed. In June 2023, only 14% agreed with the deployment of nuclear weapons in the country, but in November, this figure was already 20%. After another six months, there is no doubt that these figures have become higher.

Russian authorities said many times that Moscow’s response measures would be depend on the presence one or another piece of NATO infrastructure in Finland and Sweden. In particular, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “in case of the deployment of US nuclear weapons in Northern Europe, such facilities will be a source of a direct danger and, of course, they will be included in the list of legitimate targets for some direct conflict scenarios between our country and NATO.” President Putin has recently said that it is dangerous for Europe with its small territory and large population to come into conflict with Russia. Moreover, he also said that Moscow is ready to go to the end because Russia’s existence depends on the outcome of the conflict between it and the West. So, Scandinavians should think carefully before taking new dangerous actions and not to tease the Russian bear.

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