Sweden’s Foreign Minister Visits RUSI to Discuss NATO and Russia

On 16 April, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, His Excellency Tobias Billström, joined a roundtable discussion at RUSI to discuss Sweden’s foreign policy priorities.

In his opening remarks and over the course of a Q&A session, the Foreign Minister reflected on the key threats to European security today and in the future.

He discussed Sweden’s continued support for Ukraine, contributions to NATO as an ally, and how Sweden and the UK can work together to manage shared security challenges.

In his prepared remarks, Foreign Minister Billström said:

Becoming a NATO member has been a natural and final step in a journey that Sweden has been on over recent decades… [and it is] the culmination of a long farewell to a policy of neutrality and non-alignment. Sweden has changed and so too has the world around us. Sweden’s membership of NATO is a direct result of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and indefensible war of aggression in Ukraine…We must plan and prepare for a prolonged confrontation with Russia. We must counter Russia’s expansion and power by constraining its influence, its freedom of action and, ultimately, its ability to do harm. At the heart of our efforts is our firm commitment to stand up for Ukraine’s freedom and sovereignty. This is and will remain the top priority for Sweden’s foreign policy.

Swedish Foreign Minister, His Excellency Tobias Billström

Reflecting on the Foreign Minister’s address, Dr Karin von Hippel, RUSI’s Director-General, said:

As NATO’s newest member, Sweden has an essential to play in supporting and bolstering European defence in the face of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. We were pleased to be able to host Foreign Minister Billström for his first visit to the UK since Sweden’s accession to NATO. His insights into the Swedish Government’s thinking around joint European defence were invaluable, as well as how Sweden perceives the core challenges to continental security.
von Hippel

Dr Karin von Hippel


Recording: Roundtable Discussion: A Swedish Perspective on European Security
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