11 Jul 2023

Sweden gets green light to join NATO during PMs quickfire visit

From Checkpoint, 5:50 pm on 11 July 2023

There were warm Scandanavian words of friendship, and of course the obligatory meat pies, for Prime Minister Chris Hipkins during a 24 hour visit to Sweden.

But while he was thanking the Swedes for helping to get New Zealand's free trade deal with the EU over the line, the wheels were in motion in the same city for a major breakthrough on the eve of the NATO Leaders' Summit in Lithuania.

Within the hour of Chris Hipkins touching down in Vilnius, the NATO Secretary General announced the way was clear for Sweden to join the military alliance after talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Our political editor, Jane Patterson, has the story from Stockholm.