BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – Sweden and other European countries must prepare for continued support and arms deliveries to Ukraine as it faces a long-running conflict with Russia, it said on Friday. Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist.

Sweden is seeking NATO membership as the conflict in Ukraine changes Scandinavia’s security landscape and announced on Thursday that it will provide Ukraine with more economic aid and military equipment, including anti-war missiles. ships, guns and anti-tank weapons.

The military aid was the third package Sweden has provided to Ukraine since invading Russia in February, although Hultqvist declined to comment on the additional aid planned.

“I see this conflict as a long-standing conflict,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the GLOBSEC Forum 2022 in Bratislava, a foreign policy gathering.

“We have to be sustainable in deliveries, so that we can come back later. The different countries have to be complementary to each other.”

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Hultqvist said the conflict would change the environment for a long time and “we will have a sort of iron curtain, or if you want to call it a new cold war between a democratic Europe and Russia.”

Amid this, Sweden and Finland applied last month to join NATO but have faced resistance from Turkey, which accuses them of being safe havens for Kurdish militants and wants ‘they’re scrapping arms export bans.

Hultqvist declined to comment on any changes in the dialogue with Turkey, but reiterated that he hoped the accession process would go as quickly as possible.

He said NATO integration would go smoothly once Sweden got the green light to join.

“I think we have a very good platform because we have interoperability with so many NATO countries and we have exercised a lot with so many NATO countries,” he said.

“Integration is not a big deal.”

(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Alison Williams)

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