The Swedish Defence Minister is Opposed to Sweden Joining NATO
"Sweden will never become a NATO member as long as I am the Minister of Defence," Hultqvist declared on Swedish state television in November last year. "I have the same opinion; I say the same thing without using the term 'never,'" he remarked, recalling his statements. "The circumstance we ended up in has taught me not to use the term 'never,'" he continued.
"Sweden's membership in NATO means fundamentally changing the security line," Hultqvist underscored, adding that "this has an impact on the safety of our immediate region."
Following Russia’s invasion, a Finish publication conducted an opinion poll and found out that the popularity of NATO increased in Sweden and Finland. Russian President Vladimir Putin has cited NATO expansion as a reason for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Moscow has also warned of military repercussions if Finland or Sweden join the alliance.