PM: Sweden to join European Sky Shield Initiative

The leader of Sweden's Moderate Party and Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson holds a press conference after the voting at the Swedish parliament Riksdagen in Stockholm, Sweden, on Oct 17, 2022. (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP)

STOCKHOLM – Sweden will be part of the European Sky Shield Initiative and participate in air policing over the Baltics, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Sunday.

The Scandinavian country, which last year decided to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is also prepared to participate in air policing above the Black Sea and Iceland, Swedish Television (SVT) quoted Kristersson as saying at an annual defense and security policy conference in Salen, some 430 km northwest of Stockholm.

Spearheaded by Germany, the ESSI, launched at a NATO defense ministers' meeting in October 2022, aims to create a European air and missile defense system through the common acquisition of air defense equipment and missiles by European nations, and to strengthen NATO's Integrated Air and Missile Defense, according to NATO.

READ MORE: Sweden says Türkiye asking too much over NATO application

Sweden and Finland simultaneously submitted their formal requests to join NATO in May 2022. But so far, two NATO allies, Hungary and Türkiye, have yet to ratify their accession protocols.