The Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet said that public support for Sweden joining NATO has reached a record high.
According to the paper, 40 percent of the Swedish population now support joining the alliance. Although the support is higher than ever, 42 percent are still against it.
Sweden is well known for its long-standing neutrality - the country didn't participate in the World wars, or join NATO after World War II. However, the recent conflict in Ukraine and a reported incursion of a Russian submarine into Swedish waters in October - which caused a frenzy of Swedish military activity in a pursuit of the sub - has increased support for NATO.
Sweden is already one of the Alliance’s most active partners. It has been cooperating with NATO since the creation of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program in 1994, and has since been utilizing partnership tools to expand this relationship and exchange knowledge and experience with allied and partner countries in different fields.
Currently, Sweden is contributing to the peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and is planning to contribute to the nation-building mission in Afghanistan starting next year. In the past, it supported the NATO-led operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Svenska Dagbladet has conducted the surveys about Sweden's public support for NATO since 1995.