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The US will have access to Swedish military bases after signing defense agreement

The Swedish Parliament consolidated a pact previously approved by the defense ministers of both countries.

Lloyd Austin, secretario de Defensa.

(Ting Shen / Pool via CNP)

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After formally entering the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Sweden began to seek different bilateral agreements with its partners in defense and security matters. One of them was signed with the United States, which, from now on, will be able to use the 17 military bases of the Nordic country to carry out its exercises.

The Swedish Parliament approved the pact signed last year by Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. For the Nordic Executive, this initiative, called the Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA), served as a firm declaration of intentions and, at the same time, a prelude to joining the alliance.

The measure was approved by the majority of the parliamentary group: 266 legislators voted in favor while 37 opposed and 46 abstained, according to AFP.

"The DCA will be a cornerstone for Swedish and allied security in the region. It makes us stronger and more secure," Jonson said. "Sweden already conducts comprehensive training exercises with the US & the DCA will strengthen this further. With the DCA Sweden & the U.S. can cooperate closely on up to 17 Swedish military areas. This not only increases security for Sweden but for the entire Nordic region."

The Swedish Defense Minister added that, if other Baltic Sea countries that are part of NATO such as Finland and Denmark enact similar agreements, future threats can be contained to a greater extent:

Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US had access to four DCA areas in the Nordic region. After the Russian invasion and if Finland and Denmark implement their respective DCAs, this will increase to 47 areas. This will deter those who might plan to change borders by using force.