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Media: NATO headquarters to fly Sweden's flag on March 11

by Martin Fornusek March 6, 2024 4:10 PM 2 min read
Flag raising ceremony as Finland enters NATO.
Illustrative purposes only: Flag raising ceremony as NATO adds Finland, the 31st member of the North Atlantic Alliance, in Brussels, Belgium on April 4, 2023. (Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: The article originally said that Sweden will officially become a NATO member on March 11, citing Swedish media. While that is the date of the flag-raising ceremony, Sweden may reportedly become a formal member as early as March 7.

Sweden's flag will be raised at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on March 11 around noon, ceremoniously marking the country's accession to the alliance, the Swedish TV4 channel reported on March 6.

The Nordic country may formally become a member as early as March 7, depending on how fast Hungary registers its approval for Stockholm's bid in Washington, Politico reported, citing two unnamed officials familiar with the plan.

After months of delays, Sweden will become NATO's 32nd member and the second country to join after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Sweden and Finland applied for membership in 2022, abandoning their non-alignment policy in response to Russian aggression. Their accession was held up by objections from Turkey and Hungary.

While Finland joined already in April 2023, Turkey ratified Stockholm's bid only in January 2024. Hungarian President Tamas Sulyok signed the bill on Sweden's accession on March 5, clearing the final hurdle.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Micael Byden will be present in Belgium for the raising of the flag, TV4 reported.

"Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security," Kristersson said on social media on Feb. 26 after the Hungarian parliament ratified Sweden's accession.

Putin threatens NATO, says nuclear weapons use possible
There will be “tragic consequences” if NATO troops are sent to Ukraine, and the West’s support for Kyiv “risks a conflict using nuclear weapons,” Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed during a two-hour State of the Nation address on Feb. 29.
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