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Public panic in Sweden over war with Russia as Turkey ratifies Stockholm's bid to join NATO

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, left, speaks during a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Swedish Government headquarters Rosenbad in Stockholm, Oct. 24, 2023. (Via AP)

Turkey’s parliament has passed a bill on ratification of Sweden's NATO membership after months of blocking accession, putting the Scandinavian country a “step closer” to becoming a full member of the US-led Western military alliance.

“Today we are one step closer to becoming a full member of NATO,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday.

The Turkish parliament's decision will come into force after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signs a corresponding decree, which will be published in the government's official journal.

Hungary, whose prime minister Viktor Orban has friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, remains the only NATO country that has not ratified Sweden's bid to join.

Last week, the high levels of the Swedish government and defense forces issued a warning to prepare people for the possibility of a Russian attack on the country and asked citizens to be on alert for the possibility of a war, causing Swedes to panic and criticize the country's leaders.

Taking notice of the call from officials, a multitude of people heeded this caution seriously, causing mass panic, and flocked their way to the market in order to procure fuel and bundles of indispensable and crucial provisions “crisis kit.”

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had no problems with Finland and Sweden and that their accession to NATO did not pose an immediate threat, but cautioned against the expansion of the Western military infrastructure in these territories.

"As for the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance: yes, this is a problem that is being created, in my opinion, quite artificially in the foreign policy interests of the United States,” Putin was quoted as saying.

“Russia has no problems (with Sweden and Finland), but the expansion of military infrastructure on the territory of this region will certainly cause our response," he said, stressing that the actions of the Scandinavian states could aggravate "an already difficult situation in the sphere of international security."

Turkey and Hungary maintain better relations with Russia, more than any other member state of the US-led Western military alliance.

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