Estonian formin: Sweden’s accession into alliance marks start of new era

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Soldiers from the 13th counter intelligence battalion, 2nd reconnaissance platoon of the Swedish Armed Forces, participate in military exercise in Kungsangen, near Stockholm on February 27, 2024.
Soldiers from the 13th counter intelligence battalion, 2nd reconnaissance platoon of the Swedish Armed Forces, participate in military exercise in Kungsangen, near Stockholm on February 27, 2024. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Scanpix

The Hungarian parliament voted on Monday to ratify Sweden's bid to join NATO, which marks the start of a new era, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said.

«I am truly happy that the NATO accession of our good friend and neighbor Sweden has been finally completed. The addition of such a capable ally marks the beginning of a new era because it makes the alliance even stronger and contributes to the increased security of the Euro-Atlantic area,» Tsahkna said in a press release.

«The fact that Estonia and Sweden are becoming allies in addition to being partners allows us to cooperate more closely on defense and security, significantly increases the security of the Baltic Sea region and improves the security of supply of NATO's eastern flank. I am convinced that Sweden’s accession enables us to face the shared challenges and threats in our region more efficiently,» the minister added.

«The alliance growing to 32 members this year, when Estonia celebrates the 20th anniversary of its accession and NATO marks 75 years since its foundation, is symbolic. It proves that over the decades, NATO has not lost its importance, and instead it has become stronger with each year. At the same time, it is guided by the principles that were agreed upon in 1949, and Estonia considers NATO’s open door policy one of the most important of these principles. We are convinced that every European state must be free to choose their security arrangements and Sweden’s accession is proof of the validity of this fundamental principle,» Tsahkna said.

The Hungarian parliament's approval means that Sweden's accession to NATO is essentially decided. The accession of new members requires the support of all existing NATO members.

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