Magdalena Andersson
© Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva/ReutersSwedish PM Magdalena Andersson, left, and her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin have contrasting views on talks within their countries on joining Nato
Sweden's centre-left prime minister has ruled out applying to join Nato, saying that membership would destabilise the security of northern Europe. After a surge in Swedish support for joining the military alliance following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, opposition centre-right party leaders have again urged the government to start a discussion on possible Nato membership.

Comment: Just because there's been a 'surge in support' for joining NATO, that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do; as the PM's comments reveal below. All it reveals is the propaganda media have misinformed an easily scared and programmable public who have no idea what they're voting for.

But Social Democrat prime minister Magdalena Andersson turned down the requests for talks. "If Sweden were to choose to submit its membership application in the current situation, it would further destabilise the security of this particular region of Europe and increase tensions in Europe, and Sweden would contribute to further destabilising the situation," she said on Tuesday.

Her comments stand in contrast to neighbouring Finland, where centre-left premier Sanna Marin has promised a quick and comprehensive debate among party leaders over whether it should join Nato. Sweden and Finland are the only two of the Nordic-Baltic countries not in Nato, and public opinion in both countries has swung massively in favour of membership of the military alliance.

Neither country is neutral any longer since they joined the EU and both have close military partnerships with both Nato and the US. Some Swedish commentators criticised Andersson's choice of words, even if the Social Democrats' opposition to Nato membership is longstanding.

Citing the prime minister's use of the word "destabilising", Anna Dahlberg, political editor of tabloid Expressen, said: "Why does the prime minister accept the perspective of the Kremlin?"

Comment: The above is an example of why the voting public are so misinformed, rhetorical tricks by propagandist newspapers that, if it was up to them, would have Sweden dragged into a war.

Ulf Kristersson, leader of Sweden's main opposition Moderate party, called Andersson's comments "very unfortunate" and said that they risked causing a split between Sweden and Finland "in a dangerous way".

Several commentators pointed out that Sweden ruling out Nato membership could complicate a potential Finnish bid. It had long been assumed that Sweden would lead in taking the two countries into Nato but, increasingly, it seems as if Finland, with half the population, is pulling ahead.

Marin said on Monday during a visit to neighbouring Estonia: "We're moving quickly, although these discussions will be thorough." Kristersson said earlier on Tuesday that Finland was setting the pace for his country and urged Stockholm to discuss potential membership. "We are in a completely new situation and so, just like in Finland, we need to make a new analysis of what best serves Sweden's interests," added the Moderate leader, a supporter of Nato membership.

Comment: International relations means that one needs to take into account the interests of others. The international community claims to abide by the principle of indivisible security, 'a collective concept whereby if the actions of one state threaten the security of another, the principle of indivisible security is breached. Therefore no state should strengthen its security at the expense of another.'

Victory for Sweden's opposition parties in parliamentary elections in September could swing the political argument in favour of talks about joining the alliance. An opinion poll last week showed that a majority of Finns supported joining Nato for the first time.

Party and parliamentary leaders are set for talks again this week with Sauli Niinisto, president, who has previously called on them to keep a cool head on the issue. Swedish opinion polls have also showed in recent days either a majority or a plurality — more in favour than against — for membership.

The surge in support comes as Finns and Swedes react to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, also a non-Nato member. Nato countries have offered Kyiv weapons and moral support but have so far been unwilling to provide troops or enforce a no-fly zone as Ukrainian officials have demanded.

Leaders in the Baltic countries are particularly keen to have Finland and Sweden in Nato because of their strategic location.

Comment: And that's precisely why, according to international agreements, they shouldn't even be considering joining NATO.

With a length of 1,340km, Finland has the longest border of any EU country with Russia, while analysts say that Sweden's island of Gotland could function as an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Baltic Sea. Kaja Kallas, Estonia's prime minister, told Marin that she could allay any fears that joining Nato would weaken Finland's security. "Finland and Sweden's accession would strengthen Nato, but I believe it would strengthen Finland and Sweden's own security as well," she added.