NATO Secretary General Jons Stoltenberg, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, and Finnish Prime Minister FM Pekka Haavisto will address the opening of the annual Society and Defence Forum today.
Society and Defence is a Swedish non-governmental organization that encourages debate over national security issues. Sweden—who will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union this spring—has pledged to continue EU policy to counteract the invasion of Ukraine, and to prioritize a more united and engaged EU in the area of security policy.
This is the NGO’s first forum since Sweden applied to join NATO this past May. Turkey continues its opposition to Sweden’s membership until it cracks down on Ankara-identified terrorist organizations. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu recently stated that while Ankara appreciates Sweden’s steps so far, it is not yet halfway to fulfilling its commitments of support.
The forum will likely focus on the impact of the Ukraine war on Europe and the need for retaliation. In a similar vein, Sweden’s Presidency is likely to see further pressure placed on Russia and Belarus, perhaps in the form of sanctions. Turkey will likely allow Sweden to join NATO eventually, after prolonging negotiations as long as possible.
Laurence is an Analyst and weekly contributor to The Daily Brief, he focuses on geopolitical and economic issues occuring in Europe and Eurasia.