Sweden’s female Foreign Minister has laid out the red-green coalition government’s priorities for the coming year in a major policy speech which includes her ambition to get the country a seat on the United Nations (UN) security council, and protect her nation from the Russian menace.
Although the European migrant crisis is now the primary concern of the voting Swedish public, Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has articulated today the position of the Swedish government that Russia, under the conservative nationalist government of Vladimir Putin is the greatest threat to Europe today.
Despite the closure of dozens of internal European borders, the Eastern European Visegrad group nations and Austria openly defying Europe’s German leadership over migrants in the Balkans, and the immigrant crime wave, Ms. Wallström said in her address this morning: “[Russia] is the biggest challenge to European security since the Cold War”. She also called Russia and the rump Syrian government’s counter-terror actions against the Islamic State “unacceptable” and demanded they cease immediately, reports Aftonbladet.
Another cause for the Foreign Minister is furthering the idea of Sweden as a so-called “moral superpower”. Ms. Wallström said she wanted to see Sweden join the UN Security council, remarking that in its present form the international body which includes permanent members China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States was unfit for the present day.
Arguing why Sweden should be elected, Ms. Wallström said “the Council needs to be reformed to better reflect the world today”. In a separate interview yesterday she boasted Sweden had been “enriched… enormously” by the country’s close involvement with African and South American nations, and this furthered their claim for a seat on the security council.
While Sweden has one of the smaller militaries of first world nations, it hopes to offer the UN their unique moral superpowers. Referring to a Swedish foreign policy concept she herself first launched in 2014, Ms. Wallström restated the importance of Sweden pursuing what she called a “feminist security policy”, and pledged the Swedish armed forces to the defence of her Nordic neighbours and the European Union should they “suffer from attack”, a clear reference to Russia and Ukraine.
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