Protests against NATO held across Sweden

TEHRAN, Apr. 23 (MNA) – Protests against Sweden hosting a large international military exercise and the country striving to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) were held in 17 cities across the country on Saturday.

"NATO is nothing but the war machine of the United States," Nellie Puig, a Swede protesting his country joining the military alliance.

"It is not a defensive alliance as they claim. It is an organization that runs the errands of the United States," said Puig.

Several organizations and networks such as the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, No NATO, No to Nuclear Weapons, and political parties organized the events. Hundreds participated in the protest in Stockholm alone.

Placards and banners with messages such as "No to NATO", "NATO's war will get our children killed for a dollar," and "Stop Aurora 23" -- referring to an ongoing military exercise with 26,000 participants mainly from NATO member states currently hosted by Sweden -- were seen as the protesters moved through the city.

"Aurora 23 and similar previous exercises prove that Sweden has become increasingly integrated with NATO and Sweden also sells arms to NATO," said Puig, China Daily reported.

A majority of Swedes have traditionally been negative towards joining NATO, but this changed following the escalation of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022.

On March, 22, the Swedish parliament, Riksdagen, voted in favor of the country joining NATO, but so far, NATO members Hungary and Turkey have yet to give a green light to Sweden's accession.

MP/PR

News Code 199802

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