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March 12, 2024 (EIRNS)—In Brussels, the Swedish flag was raised at NATO headquarters yesterday in a ceremony attended by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. “We have chosen you, and you have chosen us. All for one, and one for all,” Kristersson said during the ceremony, and he vowed that his country would uphold the values enshrined in NATO’s founding Washington Treaty.

During a joint press conference that followed, Kristersson said that there are no plans for Sweden to join NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangement or for permanent NATO bases on Swedish territory. When Sweden became a NATO member, “we embrace NATO in its whole, its whole capabilities,” he said. “We fully understand the need for all of NATO’s defense capabilities, including the nuclear strategy. On the other hand, we say clearly that we see no need for Sweden to host permanent bases or nuclear weapons on Swedish soil in peacetime. That is a Swedish decision that I find fully … being fully respected.”

Stoltenberg echoed Kristersson on the nuclear weapons. “There are no plans to expand the number of countries, NATO Allies, with nuclear weapons,” he said.

In an interview with Politico, Kristersson vowed full support to Baltic countries as an ally. Basing of Swedish troops in the Baltic region would be a “very natural” potential option, he added.

“Europe has homework to do. One is the obvious one.... European NATO countries need to build sufficiently strong defense, not only [to] hope for the U.S. to be the provider of a strong defense and pay for a strong defense,” he said, adding that the EU also needs to stick together when it comes to supporting Ukraine in order to convince Washington to beef up its own support.

The other key agenda, Kristersson said, is to work with the U.S. on its core strategic concern: China. “If we want the U.S. to be committed to Europe, we need to realize that the U.S. has other concerns as well,” he said. “I think European countries need to learn more and understand more about the security situation in the Pacific, to understand what’s happening in China, what kind of threats China poses to other Asian countries.”