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Sweden says against permanent NATO bases in country

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second left, receives the NATO ratification documents from Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of Sweden, as Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom applauds, during a ceremony at the US State Department, Washington, DC, March 7, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom says Stockholm is against the deployment of NATO bases in the country.

Sweden recently became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“Of course, NATO institutions will work in Sweden, but we do not want permanent bases for the alliance,” Billstrom said in an interview with Turkish media published on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has said Sweden’s entry into NATO “is a victory for freedom today. Sweden has made a free, democratic, sovereign and united choice to join NATO.”

Russia sees Sweden’s membership in NATO as a threat to regional stability.

President Vladimir Putin said earlier, “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.”

“Russia has no problems, but the expansion of military infrastructure on the territory of this region will certainly cause our response.”

The Russian leader believes the recent move could aggravate “an already difficult situation in the sphere of international security.”

“Russia has no reason, no interest – no geopolitical interest, no economic, political or military interest – to fight NATO countries,” Putin said in an interview with Russian media.

Putin even said Russia is seeking to expand its relations with NATO countries and has no intention of damaging ties.

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