Sweden has agreed to grant the US access to its military bases and airspace, in a move that is seen as a response to the growing threat from Russia. However, the deal comes with a surprising condition: the US has to supply Sweden with IKEA furniture.
According to a statement from the Swedish Ministry of Defence, Sweden and the US have signed a memorandum of understanding that allows the US to use Swedish military facilities for training, exercises and operations. The agreement also enhances the cooperation and interoperability between the two countries’ armed forces.
However, the statement also reveals that Sweden has asked the US to provide it with IKEA furniture as part of the deal. The Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist explained that this was a strategic decision to improve the living conditions and morale of the Swedish soldiers.
“We have noticed that our soldiers are not very comfortable and happy in their barracks and offices. They complain about the lack of space, storage, comfort and style. We have decided to address this issue by requesting IKEA furniture from the US. We believe that IKEA furniture will make our soldiers feel more at home and more productive. We also think that IKEA furniture will reflect our Swedish identity and values better than the old and outdated furniture we have now”, – Hultqvist said.
The US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin agreed to the request, saying that he was impressed by the quality and design of IKEA furniture. He also said that he was looking forward to visiting Sweden and assembling some of the furniture himself.
“IKEA furniture is amazing. It is simple, elegant, functional and affordable. It is also fun to put together. I have always enjoyed building IKEA furniture with my family and friends. I think it is a great way to bond and relax. I am happy to share this experience with our Swedish allies. I am planning to visit Sweden soon and help them set up their new furniture. I hope they have enough Allen keys”, – Austin said.
The deal between Sweden and the US has been welcomed by both countries as a sign of their strong partnership and mutual support. However, it has also raised some eyebrows and questions from other countries and observers, who wonder if IKEA furniture is really worth giving up sovereignty and neutrality.