The US is ready to provide security insurance to Sweden during its possible application process to NATO, Sweden’s foreign minister said Wednesday, according to local media.
Ann Linde made the remarks while speaking to Swedish public broadcaster SVT following her meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“There is great interest on the part of the United States for Sweden and Finland joining NATO,” she added.
Linde is currently in Washington, D.C. and has also met with several high-ranking American politicians.
According to media reports, Finland and Sweden agreed to file their applications for NATO membership together in mid-May.
The two countries had been strictly militarily neutral during the Cold War and struck a partnership agreement with NATO in 1995.
Support for NATO membership has significantly increased in both countries after Russia launched its war against neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Russia has repeatedly expressed opposition to Finland or Sweden joining NATO.
At least 3,238 civilians have been killed and 3,397 others injured in Ukraine since the war with Russia began, according to UN estimates. The true toll is feared to be much higher.
More than 5.6 million people have fled to other countries, with over 7.7 million people internally displaced, data from the UN refugee agency shows.