US Secretary of Defence warns Sweden on nuclear treaty

In a classified letter to his Swedish colleague, Peter Hultqvist (S), the US Secretary for Defence, James Mattis, warns of the consequences if the Red-Green government signs the anti-nuclear weapons treaty, according to sources close to Svenska Dagbladet.The letter refers to the Swedish government’s intention of signing the UN convention on disarmament of nuclear weapons, which is open for signing in New York on September 20. The US and all other nuclear states, are boycotting the convention. SvD reports that Mattis claims it would affect defence cooperation between Sweden and the US negatively: “The implication is that if the government signs the convention banning nuclear weapons, including on Swedish territory, it would impact both defence cooperation during peace time and the possibility of military support from the USA in a crisis situation,” SvD writes.

In a debate article (english translation) published in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter on 25 August,  Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (S) wrote that the Swedish government intended to sign the treaty and that “our initial assessment shows that our bilateral and multilateral defence cooperation, including our partnership with Nato and cooperation with the United States, France and the United Kingdom, can continue.” Foreign Minister Wallström concludes by underlining that a nuclear-weapon-free world cannot be achieved through naivety or passivity but by striking a balance between pragmatism and clear ideals. “We intend to stand up for our ideals at a time when doing so is crucial, but also because we know that Sweden’s security requires long-term and sound decisions.”


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Edgar Mannheimer is a journalist at Mundus News. He is also currently working for SVT Nyheter as an online reporter. Edgar has a passion for politics, foreign affairs and music. He grew up in Egypt, the US, Stockholm, and Jordan, following his mother’s job as a foreign correspondent. Edgar has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Arabic/Middle Eastern Studies from Lund University and a Master’s degree in journalism from Stockholm University.