STOCKHOLM, January 9. /TASS/. NATO cannot force Sweden to host nuclear weapons, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with the Dagens Nyheter newspaper published on Monday.
"It’s not an issue. If the need arises someday, the decision will be Sweden’s to make," he noted. "NATO has no power or mandate to impose any weapons on other countries," he added.
When asked if the US could make Sweden host such weapons, Stoltenberg said: "No, Sweden is an independent nation that decides for itself. NATO membership will in no way change Sweden’s right and ability to say ‘no’ to the deployment of nuclear weapons." "What may be valid are drills, training and various equipment that Sweden needs, namely radar systems," he added.
According to the NATO secretary general, more NATO weapons in Europe are out of the question. "NATO currently has no plans to deploy nuclear weapons. It doesn’t have any significance, and NATO has neither an agenda nor requirements for us to deploy nuclear weapons to more member states. Besides, the point is that if it happens, it cannot take place without the consent of a member state," Stoltenberg explained.
The foreign ministers of Finland and Sweden, along with the envoys of 30 NATO member states, signed protocols for the two Nordic countries to join the US-led military bloc in early July. Helsinki and Stockholm will be able to enter NATO once all of the alliance’s members ratify the documents.