It appears voters in Denmark have said yes to the country joining the European Union’s common defense policy. According to a public broadcaster exit poll, more than 69 percent have supported the plan in a referendum. Denmark is an EU member but in the past negotiated an exemption on the bloc’s defense policy. Now, against a backdrop of Russian aggression, Danes were asked whether they want to opt in. Also, Sweden and Finland are pushing ahead with their landmark bids to join NATO. For Sweden, joining the military alliance would mean giving up more than two centuries of neutrality. Public opinion in favour of joining grew to around 50 percent after Russia invaded Ukraine. But NATO-member Turkey opposes the bids. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Sweden of supporting terrorists and is angry about Stockholm’s embargo on arms sales to Turkey. Speaking exclusively to DW News, Swedish Defense Minister, Peter Hultqvist explained what was behind his country’s historic shift.
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