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Swedish Foreign Minister wants to sign the ban

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In an op-ed in one of the largest Swedish newspapers, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström announced her ambition to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

However, a thorough review on the legal implications – in particular regarding Swedish military cooperation with United States, will need to be done before Sweden can sign and ratify the Treaty. The Foreign Minister is setting up a commission to prepare and evaluate all aspects of the treaty in order to make a final decision.

“We met with Wallström earlier this week, and we commend her commitment to nuclear disarmament. We are confident that the Treaty is compatible with Swedish interest and will allow for continued military cooperation with non-states parties to it – as long such military cooperation doesn’t include activities concerning use, possession and development of nuclear weapons” says Josefin Lind, Secretary-General of Swedish Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

However, not everyone was happy with the Swedish Foreign Minister’s announcement. Leaked documents show how the Trump administration has threatened to end military cooperation with Sweden if it prohibits nuclear weapons. In addition, British and German officials have made similar comments, even making comments about how signing the treaty could have possible negative impact on Swedish defence industry.

“These threats aren’t based on facts. The current military cooperation between Sweden and NATO, or Sweden and the United States, doesn’t involve any activities involving nuclear weapons. Threatening to review current agreements is just intimidation tactics, Sweden must stand up against the bullying of the Trump administration” says Lind.

Wallström and the Swedish Minister of Defense, Peter Hultqvist, have previously assured the Swedish people publicly that nothing in the Swedish military cooperation with NATO or United States involve nuclear weapons.

“Sweden has a long standing tradition of working for nuclear disarmament and standing up to the nuclear-armed states. We hope the commission will work swiftly and come to the same conclusion, so that Sweden can sign and ratify the treaty as soon as possible” says Lind.