The foreign policy of Sweden is based on the premise that national security is best served by staying free of alliances in peacetime in order to remain a neutral country in the event of war. In 2002, Sweden revised its security doctrine. The security doctrine still states that "Sweden pursues a policy of non-participation in military alliances," but permits cooperation in response to threats against peace and security. The government also seeks to maintain Sweden's high standard of living. These two objectives require heavy expenditures for social welfare, defense spending at rates considered low by Western European standards (currently around 1.2% of GNP), and close attention to foreign trade opportunities and world economic cooperation.
The foreign policy of Sweden encompasses a range of themes over the centuries. Some of the main issues include: 
Main article: Sweden and the United Nations
Sweden has been a member of the United Nations since November 19, 1946, and participates actively in the activities of the organization, including as an elected member of the Security Council (1957–1958, 1975–1976, 1997–1998 and 2017–2018), providing Dag Hammarskjöld as the second elected Secretary-General of the UN, etc. The strong interest of the Swedish Government and people in international cooperation and peacemaking has been supplemented in the early 1980s by renewed attention to Nordic and European security questions.
Sweden decided not to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
After the then Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson had submitted Sweden's application in July 1991 the negotiations began in February 1993. Finally, on January 1, 1995, Sweden became a member of the European Union. While some argued that it went against Sweden's historic policy of neutrality, where Sweden had not joined during the Cold War because it was seen as incompatible with neutrality, others viewed the move as a natural extension of the economic cooperation that had been going on since 1972 with the EU. Sweden addressed this controversy by reserving the right not to participate in any future EU defense alliance. In membership negotiations in 1993–1994, Sweden also had reserved the right to make the final decision on whether to join the third stage of the EMU "in light of continued developments." In a nationwide referendum in November 1994, 52.3 percent of participants voted in favour of EU membership. Voter turnout was high, 83.3 percent of the eligible voters voted. The main Swedish concerns included winning popular support for EU cooperation, EU enlargement, and strengthening the EU in areas such as economic growth, job promotion, and environmental issues.
In polls taken a few years after the referendum, many Swedes indicated that they were unhappy with Sweden's membership in the EU. However, after Sweden successfully hosted its first presidency of the EU in the first half of 2001, most Swedes today have a more positive attitude towards the EU. The government, with the support of the Center Party, decided in spring 1997 to remain outside of the EMU, at least until 2002. A referendum was held on September 14, 2003. The results were 55.9% for no, 42.0% yes and 2.1% giving no answer ("blank vote").
Swedish foreign policy has been the result of a wide consensus. Sweden cooperates closely with its Nordic neighbors, formally in economic and social matters through the Nordic Council of Ministers and informally in political matters through direct consultation.
Main article: Swedish neutrality
Swedish neutrality and nonalignment policy in peacetime may partly explain how the country could stay out of wars since 1814. Swedish governments have not defined nonalignment as precluding outspoken positions in international affairs. Government leaders have favored national liberation movements that enjoy broad support among developing world countries, with notable attention to Africa. During the Cold War, Sweden was suspicious of the superpowers, which it saw as making decisions affecting small countries without always consulting those countries. With the end of the Cold War, that suspicion has lessened somewhat, although Sweden still chooses to remain nonaligned. Sweden has devoted particular attention to issues of disarmament, arms control, and nuclear nonproliferation and has contributed importantly to UN and other international peacekeeping efforts, including the NATO-led peacekeeping forces in the Balkans. It sat as an observer in the Western European Union from 1995 to 2011, but it is not an active member of NATO's Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.
Sweden's engagement with NATO was especially strengthened during the term of Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Sweden's nonalignment policy has led it to serve as the protecting power for a number of nations who don't have formal diplomatic relations with each other for various reasons. It currently represents the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations in North Korea for consular matters. On several occasions when the United Kingdom broke off relations with Iran (including the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the Salman Rushdie affair, and the 2011 storming of the British embassy in Tehran), Sweden served as the protecting power for the UK.
In May 2022, Sweden formally applied to join the NATO alliance. The public opinion in the Nordic region had changed in favour of joining NATO since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24 of the same year..
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in March 2022 that her government would have to respond if Sweden became a NATO member. However, in June 2022 President Vladimir Putin contradicted the statement, claiming that Sweden and Finland can "join whatever they want" on the condition that there will be no NATO military deployment in either country.
Sweden has employed its military on numerous occasions since the end of the Cold War, from Bosnia and Congo to Afghanistan and Libya. According to one study, "this military activism is driven both by the Swedish internationalist tradition of "doing good" in the world, but also for instrumental purposes. These include a desire for political influence in international institutions, an interest in collective milieu shaping, and a concern to improve the interoperability and effectiveness of the Swedish military."
|Organization||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|European Union||See 1995 enlargement of the European Union|
|NATO||See Sweden–NATO relations|
|Region||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Benin||17 November 1961||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 21 November 1961|
|Burkina Faso||See Burkina Faso–Sweden relations
|Burundi||7 December 1965||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 7 December 1965 when was accredited first ambassador of Burundi to Sweden Mr. Pierre Bigayimpunzi|
|Chad||3 August 1995||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 3 August 1995|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||
|Cote d'Ivoire||31 December 1963||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 31 December 1963 when first Swedish Ambassador to the Ivory Coast Karl Henrik Anderson presented his credentials|
|Eritrea||24 June 1993||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 24 June 1993|
|Ethiopia||See Ethiopia–Sweden relations
|Ghana||27 April 1962||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 27 April 1962 when first ambassador of Sweden to Ghana Mr. Gunnar Järnstedt presented his credentials|
|Guinea-Bissau||14 March 1975||See Guinea-Bissau–Sweden relations
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 14 March 1975 when Sweden's first Ambassador to Guinea-Bissau , Mr. D. Friedman , presented his credentials to President Louis Cabral.
|Kenya||See Kenya–Sweden relations
|Mali||25 January 1965||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 25 January 1965 when first Ambassador of Sweden to Mali with residence in Abidjan Mr. Karl Henrik Anderson , presented his letters of credentials.|
|Mauritania||14 December 1970||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 14 December 1970 when Ambassador of Sweden to Mauritania with residence in Rabat M. Lars Von Celsing presented his letters of credentials.|
|Mozambique||25 June 1975||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 25 June 1975
|Namibia||See Namibia–Sweden relations
|Nigeria||3 October 1961||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 3 October 1961
|South Africa||See South Africa-Sweden relations|
|South Sudan||9 July 2011||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 9 July 2011|
|Togo||15 March 1978||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 15 March 1978 when accredited first Ambassador of Togo to Sweden (resident in Bonn) Mr. Agbenou Assiongbon.|
|Tunisia||See Sweden–Tunisia relations
|Zimbabwe||30 April 1980||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 30 April 1980 when first Ambassador of Mozambique to Zimbabwe presented his credentials.|
|Region||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Antigua and Barbuda||11 May 1982||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 11 May 1982|
|Argentina||See Argentina–Sweden relations|
|Bahamas||9 May 1978||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 9 May 1978|
|Barbados||19 March 1976||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 19 March 1976|
|Belize||17 November 1982||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 17 November 1982
|Brazil||See Brazil–Sweden relations
|Canada||See Canada–Sweden relations
Relations with Canada are close, positive and constructive. Both countries have strong commitments to peacekeeping, UN reform, development assistance, environmental protection, sustainable development, and the promotion and protection of human rights. In addition, there are more than 300,000 Canadians of Swedish descent.
|Chile||1827||See Chile–Sweden relations|
|Colombia||11 December 1874|
|Dominica||3 May 1984||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 3 May 1984|
|Guyana||16 June 1975||
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 16 June 1975
|Mexico||1850||See Mexico–Sweden relations.|
|Peru||See Peru–Sweden relations
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||3 April 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 3 April 1992|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||3 April 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 3 April 1992|
|United States||29 April 1818||See Sweden–United States relations.
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 29 April 1818
Sweden and the United States have had strong ties since the 18th century.
|Uruguay||See Sweden–Uruguay relations
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Armenia||10 July 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 July 1992|
|Azerbaijan||8 May 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 8 May 1992
|China||See China–Sweden relations
In July 2019, the UN ambassadors from 22 nations, including Sweden, signed a joint letter to the UNHRC condemning China's mistreatment of the Uyghurs as well as its mistreatment of other minority groups, urging the Chinese government to close the Xinjiang re-education camps.
|Georgia||19 September 1992||See Georgia–Sweden relations
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 19 September 1992
|India||See India–Sweden relations.|
|Indonesia||See Indonesia–Sweden relations.|
|Iran||See Iran–Sweden relations.|
|Iraq||See Iraq–Sweden relations.|
|Israel||See Israel–Sweden relations.|
|Japan||1868||See Japan–Sweden relations.
Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1868 by signing the Swedish-Japanese Treaty in 1868,.
|Kazakhstan||7 April 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 7 April 1992
|Kyrgyzstan||25 March 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 25 March 1992|
|Lebanon||7 February 1946||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 7 February 1946|
|Malaysia||See Malaysia–Sweden relations.
Diplomatic relations were established in 1958. Sweden has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has an embassy in Stockholm. As of 2009, 90 Swedish companies are present in Malaysia and about 450 Swedish citizens live in Malaysia.
|North Korea||April 7, 1973||See North Korea–Sweden relations|
|Palestine||October 30, 2014||See Palestine–Sweden relations.|
|South Korea||11 March 1959||See South Korea–Sweden relations
The establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Sweden began on March 11, 1959
|Tajikistan||9 December 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 9 December 1992|
|Timor Leste||20 May 2002||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 20 May 2002|
|Turkey||See Sweden–Turkey relations.
Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Union for the Mediterranean. Sweden supports Turkey's European Union membership. Sweden's Green Party has criticized France and Germany's opposition to Turkey's membership.
|Turkmenistan||10 April 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 April 1992|
|Uzbekistan||8 April 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 8 April 1992|
|Region||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Albania||20 June 1969||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 20 June 1969|
|Andorra||2 March 1995||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 2 March 1995|
|Belarus||14 January 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 14 January 1992
There are 3,000 Belarusian living in Sweden and above 1,000 Swedes living in Belarus.
|Belgium||There is an ethnic group of Walloons living in Sweden making up the 8,000 Belgians living in Sweden and 5,000 Swedes living in Belgium.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||15 December 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 15 December 1992|
|Bulgaria||July 6, 1914||There are approximately 3,000 Swedes living in Bulgaria and
|Croatia||29 January 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 29 January 1992|
|Cyprus||See Cyprus–Sweden relations|
|Czech Republic||1 January 1993||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 1 January 1993|
|Denmark||See Denmark–Sweden relations.
Today, both countries are separated by the Øresund, which links the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Both countries are full members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, of the Council of Europe, and of the European Union. There are around 21,000 Swedes living in Denmark and there are around 42,000 Danes living in Sweden.
|Estonia||28 August 1991||See Estonia–Sweden relations.
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 28 August 1991
Estonia was under Swedish occupation between 1561 and 1721. Sweden re-recognized Estonia on August 27, 1991.
|Finland||See Finland–Sweden relations.
Finnish–Swedish relations have a long history (Sweden and Finland were the same country for several hundred years), due to the close relationship between Finland and Sweden. Particularly in Finland, the issue emerges in frequent exposés of Finnish history, and in motives for governmental proposals and actions as reported in Finnish news broadcasts in English or other foreign languages. In Sweden, this relationship is a recurrent important theme of 20th-century history, although maybe by most Swedes considered to be an issue of purely historical relevance now that both countries have been members of the European Union since 1995.
|France||See France–Sweden relations.|
|Germany||See Germany–Sweden relations|
|Greece||See Greece–Sweden relations|
|Hungary||See Hungary–Sweden relations
Diplomacy relations between the two countries started on December 28, 1945.
|Iceland||See Iceland–Sweden relations
|Ireland||See Ireland–Sweden relations|
|Italy||See Italy–Sweden relations|
|Kosovo||See Kosovo–Sweden relations
Sweden recognized Kosovo on March 4, 2008. Liaison Office of Sweden in Pristina, subordinated to the Embassy in Skopje, North Macedonia. On March 8, 2008, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt became the first foreign minister to officially visit Kosovo since it declared its independence. Sweden currently has 243 troops serving in Kosovo as peacekeepers in the NATO led Kosovo Force.
|Latvia||28 August 1991||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 28 August 1991|
|Lithuania||28 August 1991||See Lithuania–Sweden relations
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 28 August 1991
|Moldova||12 June 1992||See Moldova–Sweden relations
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 12 June 1992
Sweden is one of Moldova's top donors. From 1996, Sweden provided Moldova with technical assistance worth 30 million dollars, which significantly helped strengthen sectors such as: protection of human rights, democracy, good governance, public health, education, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, transport and the private sector. Much of the aid is delivered through the Swedish International Development Agency. In 2007, the Swedish Government established the 2007–2010 strategy of cooperation with Moldova, which sees 11 million euros in financial assistance annually for three important sectors: good governance, strengthening of com petitiveness in the rural area and reduction of vulnerability in the energy sector.
|Monaco||30 January 2009||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 30 January 2009|
|Montenegro||26 June 2006||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 26 June 2006|
|The Netherlands||See Netherlands–Sweden relations|
|North Macedonia||20 December 1993||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 20 December 1993|
|Norway||See Norway–Sweden relations
|Poland||See Poland–Sweden relations|
|Portugal||See Portugal–Sweden relations|
|Romania||1 November 1916|
|Russia||See Russia–Sweden relations.|
|San Marino||13 December 1988||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 13 December 1988|
|Serbia||See Serbia–Sweden relations.
|Slovakia||1 January 1993||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 1 January 1993|
|Slovenia||29 January 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 29 January 1992|
|Spain||See Spain–Sweden relations|
|Ukraine||13 January 1992||See Sweden–Ukraine relations.
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 13 January 1992
A Ukrainian information bureau was opened 1916 in Stockholm by Volodymyr Stepankivskyi and M. Zaliznyak. In 1918 an official diplomatic mission from the Ukrainian People's Republic headed by K. Lossky was opened in Stockholm. Diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Sweden were established on January 13, 1992.
|United Kingdom||See Sweden–United Kingdom relations.|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Australia||See Australia–Sweden relations.|
|Fiji||3 April 1979||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 3 April 1979|
|Kiribati||28 September 2012||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 28 September 2012|
|Marshall Islands||14 February 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 14 February 1992|
|Federated States of Micronesia||26 August 1992||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 26 August 1992|
|Nauru||28 September 2012||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 28 September 2012|
|New Zealand||See New Zealand–Sweden relations
|Palau||9 August 1995||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 9 August 1995|
|Tuvalu||24 August 2012||Both countries established diplomatic relations on 24 August 2012|
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6 June 2008 does not only represent the National Day of Sweden, but also marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Malaysia. ...