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Sweden, NATO and nuclear deterrence

2024-06-19 (kl. 13:30 - 15:00)
Folk och Försvar, Linnégatan 14, Stockholm

Folk och Försvar is delighted to invite you to a seminar with NATO’s Director of Nuclear Policy. This seminar will provide insights on NATO’s nuclear policy as well as Swedish perspectives as the newest member in NATO and thus part of the nuclear deterrence.

For more than seven decades, nuclear deterrence has remained at the core of NATO’s collective defence. In NATO’s Strategic Concept (2022), deterrence and defence are confirmed as the Alliance’s core tasks, specifying that NATO’s deterrence and defence posture is based on an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional and missile defence capabilities, complemented by space and cyber capabilities. While the purpose of NATO’s nuclear capability is to preserve peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression, as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance. Considering the threat to global security with a war raging in Europe and many armed conflicts ongoing, how do the allied member states discuss and develop this policy?

One of the intensely debated issues before and after Sweden’s entry into NATO has been that of nuclear weapons and Sweden’s position regarding them. As Sweden now finds itself under a nuclear umbrella it is important for the public to understand what NATO’s nuclear policy looks like, how it has developed, and what Sweden’s role in that process is. Sweden, together with its allies, uphold NATO’s nuclear deterrence. Sweden has chosen not to include the storage and placement of nuclear weapons in Sweden as a reservation for entry into NATO. Now as a NATO member, Sweden is part of the nuclear planning process and development of the alliance’s nuclear policy. What will Sweden’s role in NATO deterrence be and how will Sweden contribute to the policy work of the alliance?

Additionally, Sweden recently signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), which further strengthens its defence ties with the United States and other NATO allies, even though it is pending ratification from the Swedish Parliament. This agreement facilitates closer military cooperation, joint exercises, and the potential pre-positioning of military equipment in Sweden. The implications of this agreement in the context of NATO’s nuclear deterrence include enhanced interoperability with NATO forces and a more integrated role in the alliance´s defence strategy.

From a broader perspective, nuclear weapons pose a significant and existential threat on both a regional and a global level. The placement of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus, Russian exercises with tactical nuclear weapons, heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, and the breakdown of the Iran nuclear deal are central issues to discuss regarding nuclear weapons. What does the future hold for nuclear weapons – continued deterrence, threats of deployment or incentives for disarmament?




13:30 Introduction

Pasi Huikuri, Programme Manager for Security Policy, Folk och Försvar

NATO’s Nuclear policy

Jim Stokes, NATO Director of Nuclear Policy

Sweden as part of NATO’s nuclear deterrence

Torbjörn Sahlén, Deputy Chief of Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy, Swedish Defence Forces

John Rydqvist, Deputy Director, Department for Security Policy and International Relations, Swedish Ministry of Defence

Deterrence, deployment and disarmament

Ian Anthony, researcher, Department for Security Policy, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Erik Melander, Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University


Josefin Lind, Secretary-General, Swedish Physicians Against Nuclear Weapons
Anders Lindberg, political editor-in-chief, Aftonbladet
Linda Jerneck, editorial writer, Expressen

15:00 End of seminar



Register to attend the seminar

It is only necessary to register to attend the seminar if you intend to do so in person. The seminar will be livestreamed and available afterwards.

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