Sweden's ruling party poised to back NATO bid
Sweden has been more reluctant to cast aside its non-alignment than Finland
Sweden's ruling Social Democrats were poised on Sunday to come out in favor of the country joining NATO, paving the way for an application soon after.
An application would abandon decades of military non-alignment in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russia's attack on its neighbor saw both Sweden and Finland rethink their security needs and seek out safety in the alliance they stood apart from throughout the Cold War.
The war in Ukraine shattered long-standing security policies and fueled a wave of public support for NATO membership in both countries.
Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson's Social Democrats, the biggest party in every election for the past century, have held internal debates over the past week over dropping a long-standing opposition to NATO membership.
Sweden has been more reluctant to cast aside its non-alignment than Finland, with Finland's president and prime minister on Thursday setting their country firmly on course to join the Western alliance "without delay."
Both countries are already NATO partners, having taken part in allied exercises for years, and cast off strict neutrality on joining the European Union together in 1995. However, they have until now reasoned peace was best kept by not publicly choosing sides.