Suggesting that putting the matter to a vote would be a bad idea, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Thursday that if the parliament approves of the measure, Sweden will not hold a referendum on the subject of NATO membership.
Considering the fact that a lot of information about national security is confidential, the Swedish leader pointed out that there are important issues and facts that cannot be discussed and be put on the table in such a referendum.
Andersson implied that the support of the Swedish parliament, which is conducting an overview of security policy and plans to release a report by the middle of next month, was sufficient since this kind of issue isn’t suitable for a referendum.
Although the initial plan was for Sweden to publish its security analysis at the end of the month, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said the country had to step up its timetable since Finland’s already published its report, creating a lot of pressure for Stockholm to release its own conclusions.
It seems that the Social Democrats, Andersson’s own party, are considered the primary obstacle to Stockholm signing on to NATO since a majority of Parliament reportedly is backing membership in the 30-country alliance.
Even the leader of the leading opposition party – the Moderates – Ulf Kristersson agrees that a referendum is not a good idea, underscoring that the Swedish voters are not naive about Russia, and they have drawn their conclusions understanding what has happened when Russia invaded Ukraine.
The Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar said that their party is against joining NATO, stressing that Swedes should have a say in the matter since it’s a question that has to have a very strong democratic support.
The latest poll published last week in Aftonbladet indicated an increase of six percent in the support of NATO membership among Swedes to 57%. The polls, however, show that Finnish support for NATO membership is markedly higher at 68%.