05:05 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Swedish armed forces soldiers attend a rehearsal in front of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden (File)

    New Swedish PM Says Will Preserve Country's Defence Policy, Won't Join NATO

    © AFP 2019 / Fabrizio Bensch
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    STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) - Recently elected Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven, who presented on Monday the country's new government, pledged that Sweden's security policy line would remain the same under the new authorities and Stockholm would not try to join NATO.

    "Sweden will maintain its security policy line. The defence appropriations will be gradually increased to strengthen Sweden’s military capabilities and our cooperation with other countries and organisations will be deepened. Our military non-alignment serves our country well. Sweden will not apply for membership of NATO", Loefven said when presenting his new government program, as quoted by the official website of the Swedish government.

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    The newly formed Swedish government has not seen any major reshuffle. Both foreign and defence ministers have kept their posts.

    Loefven, who has been serving as the head of the government since 2014, was re-elected the country's prime minister by the parliament on January 18, which allowed the authorities to break the political deadlock that the country reached following parliamentary elections last September.

    As no party and no bloc secured a clear majority at the Riksdag as a result of the elections, the political forces engaged in almost four-months-long negotiations, which were complicated by the fact that none of the parties wanted to cooperate with right-wing anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, which secured 17.5 percent of the vote.


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    NATO, Stefan Loefven, Sweden
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