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Social Democrats say no to Nato negotiations

Published måndag 12 januari 2015 kl 15.28
"The debate is basically about domestic politics"
(5:57 min)
Försvarsminister Peter Hultqvist (S). Foto: Claudio Bresciani/TT
Peter Hultqvist's Social Democrat Party is a strong supporter of Sweden staying outside military alliances. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Social Democrat defence minister, Peter Hultqvist, has delivered a flat no to the idea of investigating the pros and cons of Swedish Nato membership, as proposed by the Moderate Party.

A debate about Nato membership is raging in Sweden after Anna Kinberg Batra raised the issue in her first speech as Moderate Party leader.

The conservative Moderate Party is pushing for an inquiry into Swedish Nato membership, an idea dismissed by the Social Democrat Party Monday, as Hultqvist said: "We have to do our own homework on our security and defence policy. It's about the concrete challenges we face with our own defence capability."

Hultqvist denied rumours that there is any split between himself and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström on this issue. Earlier, Wallström said that it might be possible to discuss the issue with the opposition parties, although the stopped short of backing an investigation.

Over the weekend, Kinnberg Batra threw her support behind joining Nato. Previously, the conservative Moderates, Sweden's second biggest party, has been cautious about pushing the issue without consensus across the political divide.

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