Copenhagen, June 9 (EFE).- Sweden will allow NATO troops to be stationed in its territory temporarily before Sotckholm’s formal accession to the defense alliance, Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson said on Friday.
“The government has decided that the Swedish Armed Forces may undertake preparations with Nato and Nato countries to enable future joint operations,” Kristersson and his defense minister Pål Jonson said on Friday in a statement published by the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
“The preparations may consist of temporary basing of foreign equipment and personnel on Swedish territory. The decision sends a clear signal to Russia and strengthens Sweden’s defense,” the article continued.
The Swedish government added that the temporary bases would be in places of strategic importance such as in the northern province of Norrbotten or placing air defense systems in the south.
The temporary basing of logistical and military resources could last several weeks, or even longer, the Swedish officials said.
Sweden applied to join Nato last year amid Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
Fellow Nordic nation Finland also submitted its request to join the alliance last year and formally joined on 4 April 2023.
Sweden’s accession has so far been blocked by Turkey and Hungary.
Budapest has criticized Stockholm’s “hostile” attitude towards Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s policies.
Ankara has, so far, refused Sweden’s entry to Nato for harboring militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), deemed a terrorist group by Ankara, and for not processing extradition requests.
Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg recently held talks in Istanbul with the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where he assured the Turkish leader that Sweden had complied with agreements that were struck last year at the Madrid summit.
Stoltenberg said he was hopeful Stockholm’s accession would be formalized before the alliance’s July summit in Vilnius.
Turkish and Swedish representatives are scheduled to meet in the coming days to continue negotiations. EFE