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Minister’s warning

17 April 2024
Submitted by on 17 April 2024

Sweden’s foreign minister Tobias Billström gave a talk at Selwyn on April 16th about why his country has joined NATO. He warned that the world is going through a dangerous phase: not just the Russian attack on Ukraine, but also China’s intentions and the current crisis in the Middle East. These changing circumstances were why Sweden decided to relinquish the neutrality that it has held for more than two centuries.

Mr Billström is a Selwyn alumnus who studied history at the college, and was also president of the MCR representing our graduate students. In his address to current members, he emphasised the strengths of the links between Sweden and the United Kingdom – and said that Sweden’s decision on NATO could be seen as the logical conclusion to the co-operation between the two countries and other allies. However, it had been Russian aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere – and the threat to other countries in the Baltic region – which had been the key driver of the decision formally to join NATO.

Sweden’s foreign minister Tobias Billström talk at Selwyn

You can watch the minister’s speech in full, with questions from the audience, here: