Swedish NATO negotiator left off Bilderberg list, gets in anyway

May 23, 2023

Former Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (left) and Sweden’s chief negotiator for NATO membership, Oscar Stenström, (right) go for a walk outside the Bilderberg Meeting in Lisbon on May 20, 2023. Photo: Josh Friedman

Stenström quietly attended the conference of transatlantic business and political elites last week, though Bilderberg denies he participated in its actual meeting.


LISBON, Portugal – Artificial intelligence topped the key topics list for the 69th Bilderberg meeting, held last week in Lisbon, Portugal, and the biggest names in the emerging high-tech industry were in attendance at the posh Pestana Palace Lisboa in the Portuguese capital. While present and past CEOs of Open AI, Microsoft, Google and Google DeepMind drew the attention of some United States media, the transatlantic gathering also shaped up quietly, as it has in years past, as an informal NATO summit.

Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO, attended last week’s Bilderberg Meeting, as did the prime ministers of three of the alliance’s member countries. An ex-prime minister of a country trying to join the alliance, Sweden, also participated in the meeting, and she may or may not have come with a plus-one.

In true Bilderberg fashion, Sweden’s chief negotiator for NATO membership attended the gathering of European and North American elites in Lisbon, yet he did not appear on the participants’ list. The only explanation provided thus far for what Oscar Stenström could have been doing inside the fortified Pestana Palace came in the form of a Bilderberg Press Service reply to a CalCoastNews inquiry.

“As you can surely imagine, the total number of people in the hotel exceeds the number of participants,” Bilderberg’s press office stated in an email. “There are some accompanying staff members, and they do not participate in the meeting or part of it.”

Stenström works as an ambassador for NATO negotiations for the Swedish Prime Minister’s Office. Formally, he is not a member of the staff of any of the listed Bilderberg participants. However, Stenström did accompany one participant on a walk Saturday afternoon in Lisbon. That individual is Stenström’s former boss, ex-Swedish prime minister and current opposition leader, Magdalena Andersson.

CalCoastNews spotted Andersson on a walk outside the Pestana Palace and attempted to pose questions to her about Sweden’s NATO bid and what she was doing at the Bilderberg Meeting. Unbeknown that Andersson was sharing an afternoon stroll with Sweden’s top NATO negotiator, CalCoastNews asked the opposition leader whether she had any conversations with alliance chief Stoltenberg and whether Sweden’s effort to join the defense pact had been discussed at the Bilderberg Meeting.

Neither Andersson, nor Stenström, addressed the questions.

“We’re having a chat,” Andersson said.

After a few minutes, the former prime minister and Sweden’s chief NATO negotiator walked past a security checkpoint and returned to the Pestana Palace, ending their afternoon walk abruptly.

During the previous Bilderberg Meeting, held June 2 through 5, 2022 in Washington, D.C., Stoltenberg met with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Stoltenberg and Marin discussed Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership bids, as well as Turkey’s objections to them, the NATO chief stated in a tweet. Though Stoltenberg made no mention of Bilderberg, his tweet contained a photo of him standing with Marin at the hotel in Washington D.C., where the secretive conference was taking place.

When Bilderberg convened in 2022, Turkey was holding up both Finland’s and Sweden’s admission into NATO. Now, Turkey is just holding up Finland’s admission into the alliance. The Turkish government objects to there being groups in Sweden with ties to terrorism in Turkey, and it is blocking Finland’s NATO accession over the matter.

As Sweden’s top negotiator, Stenström’s role includes direct talks with Turkish and NATO officials over the terror issue. Those talks and Stenström’s comments on the progress, or lack thereof, often make international news.

A day prior to CalCoastNews’s encounter with Stenström, while the Bilderberg Meeting was ongoing, the Swedish diplomat retweeted a NATO tweet saying, “Sweden and NATO are closer than ever as the country prepares to join the alliance.”

The Swedish Prime Minister’s Office, as of publication time, did not respond to a request for comment about Stenström’s appearance in Lisbon and whether NATO accession talks took place in the Portuguese capital while he was there.

Bilderberg’s Press Service did not acknowledge Stenström’s appearance in Lisbon, though it did acknowledge there were staff members accompanying participants inside the Pestana Palace. Similarly, in 2019, then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not appear on the Bilderberg participants’ list, but he did appear at the conference for a day.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson speaks to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Oscar Stenström listening. Source: Twitter

While far from the status of a U.S. Secretary of State, Stenström is a former State Secretary to the Swedish Prime Minister, and his role in global affairs exceeds that of an ordinary traveling political staffer or a conference organizer. Sweden’s lead NATO negotiator has been photographed, along with Andersson, in face-to-face talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu.

Erdogan, at least for now, controls whether or not Sweden will join NATO. Erdogan is up for reelection on Sunday, and he is widely expected to win Turkey’s runoff presidential vote.

Stenström has also been photographed with then-Senior Advisor to the United States President, Jared Kushner. In 2019, Kushner arrived with Pompeo mid-meeting at the Bilderberg conference in Montreux, Switzerland. Unlike the U.S. Secretary of State, Kushner’s name did appear on the participants’ list.

Stenström and Andersson pose with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Source: Facebook

Additionally, Stenström and Andersson have taken photos with U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Swedish prime ministerial visits to Washington, D.C. and wartime Ukraine — not bad for a low-level staffer who may have occupied an extra hotel bed in Lisbon last week.

Actually, Stenström fits the bill of a public official partaking in a private NATO meeting within a larger Bilderberg gathering that is sealed off to interested observers and reporters.

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Nice reporting, Josh. This is a very consequential meeting this year because of the war in Ukraine and the upcoming U.S. presidential election. For another stellar article about the Bilderberg meeting, see,


Hope you are enjoying Portugal. A truly gorgeous nation.

I wasn’t sure if we were allowed to talk about the Bilderberg Group or Bohemian Grove type stuff here.

I honestly don’t see an issue here if he isn’t participating in agenized discussions. It’s a public place, with public areas. I am sure that side bar conferences are a norm.