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    HomeWorldHere's What to Know about Sweden's Bumpy Road Toward NATO Membership

    Here’s What to Know about Sweden’s Bumpy Road Toward NATO Membership

    Here’s What to Know about Sweden’s Bumpy Road Toward NATO Membership

    STOCKHOLM — Sweden's bid to join NATO — held up for almost two years — cleared its next-to-last hurdle when 's parliament gave its go-ahead to let the Nordic country into the alliance.

    All existing NATO countries must give their approval before a member can join the alliance, and Hungary is now the only member that hasn't given Sweden the green light.

    Here is a look at Sweden's complicated path toward NATO membership.

    Why does Sweden want to join NATO?

    Sweden has stayed out of alliances for more than 200 years and long ruled out seeking NATO membership. But after 's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it ditched its longstanding policy of nonalignment almost overnight and decided to apply to join the alliance together with neighboring Finland.

    Both Sweden and Finland had already developed strong ties with NATO after the end of the Cold War, but public opinion remained firmly against full membership until the war in Ukraine.

    Nonalignment was seen as the best way to avoid creating tensions with Russia, their powerful neighbor in the Baltic Sea region. But the Russian aggression caused a dramatic shift in both countries, with polls showing a surge in support for NATO membership.

    Political parties in both Finland and Sweden decided they needed the security guarantees that only come with full membership in the U.S.-led alliance.

    Why is it taking so long?

    While Finland became…

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