Sweden to spurn nuclear weapons as NATO member, foreign minister says

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden plans to declare nuclear weapons cannot be stationed on its territory when the country joins the NATO military alliance, following in the footsteps of its Nordic neighbors, the Swedish foreign minister told local news agency TT on Friday.

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO earlier this year in a move triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. So far, the application has been ratified by 28 of NATO's 30 countries.

Sweden's supreme commander raised eyebrows this month when he recommended that the government should not insert any red lines in the final negotiations with NATO, such as bans against permanent alliance bases or nuclear weapons on Swedish soil.

However, Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said Sweden would join Denmark and Norway in unilaterally declaring that it would not allow nuclear weapons in Sweden.

"It is still the long-term Moderate Party position," he told TT. "We have never intended to change the conditions for the application submitted by the previous government," he said.

A Moderate Party-led alliance won the September general election, ending eight years of Social Democratic rule in Sweden.

(Reporting by Johan Ahlander; editing by Niklas Pollard)