Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson with US President Joe Biden, White House, Washington, DC, July 6, 2023

Following Sweden Prime Minister’s Ulf Kristersson visit with US President Joe Biden and head of next week’s NATO summit in Lithuania, I joined China Radio International on Thursday to discuss Sweden’s candidacy to join the 31-nation bloc.

Listen to Discussion from 25:59

Even if Sweden’s accession is not until later this year or even next year, it does not change the reality that there is a much closer working relationship between Swedish officials and officials of the 31 NATO members.

See also “Never Again Alone”: Finland’s Path to NATO

I also consider the motives of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in preventing Swedish accession — beginning with an attempt to divert from Turkey’s economic problems — and whether he will soon lift the blockade.

And I consider NATO’s discussion of the situation in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, from the Ukrainian counter-offensive to possible Ukrainian membership in NATO to the development of military strength in Eastern Europe.