Sweden’s entry places the Atlantic Alliance “at the gates of Russia”, according to researcher Sylvain Kahn

Hungary ratified Sweden’s membership of NATO on Monday, the final step for the country to join the Atlantic Alliance.


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Swedish Prime Minister Ukf Kristersson during a joint press conference with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Budapest on February 23, 2024, ahead of a crucial vote in Hungary's Parliament on Sweden's entry into the NATO.  (ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP)

“NATO is now at Russia’s doorstep”, explains Monday February 26 on franceinfo Sylvain Kahn, teacher-researcher at the Sciences Po History center and specialist in European issues, while Sweden is about to enter the Atlantic Alliance. The Scandinavian country’s accession was ratified on Monday by the Hungarian Parliament. Hungary was the last NATO member country not yet to have validated this entry.

Sylvain Kahn recalls that until 2023, Finland and Sweden, neighboring countries of Russia, members of the European Union and “allies of the United States by various agreements, were not members of NATO and had the status of a neutral country”. With the entry of Sweden, “there are no longer any neutral countries around the Baltic Sea”.

“The air and maritime spaces of European countries bordering the Baltic Sea are regularly violated by Russia, by submarines, fighter planes. There is a state of hostility and friction.”

Sylvain Kahn

teacher-researcher at the Sciences Po History Center

The teacher-researcher emphasizes that Sweden has a significant defense industry and “is a significant exporter of arms, particularly fighter aircraft”. Furthermore, Sweden particularly supports the war effort in Ukraine. New military aid, worth the equivalent of 633 million euros, was announced last week.

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