Russia's "full-scale aggression" against Ukraine led to the "watershed moment" for Sweden to decide to apply for a NATO membership, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Thursday at the Rose Garden.
"My government has come to the conclusion that the security of the Swedish people will be best protected within the NATO alliance, and this is backed by very broad support in the Swedish parliament," she said as she stood with US President Joe Biden and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.
She emphasized that NATO will also be stronger with Sweden and Finland as members.
"We are security providers with sophisticated defense capabilities. And we are champions of freedom, democracy, and human rights. We have a long tradition of extensive military cooperation with NATO, including all missions. And we are right now ramping up our defense spending and we will reach 2% of GDP as soon as practically possible," she added.
Andersson called US support for Sweden's NATO membership of "fundamental importance," but said she's looking forward to a dialogue with Turkey to address its concerns.
Sweden looks forward to "a swift ratification process," she added, saying it is "prepared to shoulder its responsibility as an ally in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization."