Sweden, US sign new agreement on military cooperation: Reports
Sweden and the United States sign a pact bolstering their cooperation in the military field as Stockholm rises as important for Washington in the arctic region.
Sweden and the United States signed a new military cooperation agreement with the aim of bolstering the former's borders, Swedish media reported on Sunday.
US Army Chief of Staff James McConville explained that cooperation was of utmost importance under the current international situation.
"The United States army will provide troops and support as directed by our leadership," he told Swedish state-controlled broadcaster SVT.
He further highlighted that Washington and Stockholm had already been cooperating militarily, noting that the US was concerned about the situation in the Arctic and praising the Swedish military expertise in the region.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish army, Karl Engelbrekston, underlined that a military alliance with the US would be beneficial for Stockholm in case a war breaks out in Europe.
Sweden, alongside Finland, applied to NATO on May 18, just months after the Ukraine war took place due to Kiev's aspirations to join the Western alliance, which would have meant that the two countries were abandoning decades of neutrality.
As of October 6, 28 countries out of 30 have already completed the formal procedure to welcome Finland and Sweden to the alliance. Turkey and Hungary are the only two countries blocking the two nordic states from joining.
Turkey has long opposed Finland and Sweden's NATO membership requests, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressing that any attempts to persuade Ankara to budge would be futile.
The US released earlier in October its National Strategy for the Arctic, the first since the last report was published 9 years ago in 2013. It laid the groundwork for the next ten years and seeks to boost cooperation with nordic countries such as Finland and Sweden to further security interests in the region, according to administration officials.
Other parts of the document reveal that the US seeks to boost its relations with Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark (including Greenland), Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden, amid the latter two's accession to NATO.
Days earlier, Erdogan said Turkey would continue to freeze Sweden and Finland's bids for NATO membership until the promises made by the two Nordic countries are "kept".
Meanwhile, Moscow criticized NATO's expansion in the Arctic as it intensifies the potential for conflict between NATO with other countries, notably Russia.