Stockholm, Jan 9 (UiTV/IANS) – Sweden will be part of the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) and participate in air policing over the Baltics, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said.
The Scandinavian country, which last year decided to join the NATO, is also prepared to participate in air policing above the Black Sea and Iceland, Swedish Television (SVT) quoted Kristersson as saying on Sunday at an annual defence and security policy conference in Salen, nearly 430 km northwest of Stockholm.
Spearheaded by Germany, the ESSI, launched at a NATO defence ministers’ meeting in October 2022, aims to create a European air and missile defence system through the common acquisition of air defence equipment and missiles by European nations, and to strengthen NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence, according to NATO.
Sweden and Finland simultaneously submitted their formal requests to join NATO in May 2022. But so far, two NATO allies, Hungary and Turkey, have yet to ratify their accession protocols, Xinhua news agency reported.