Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Finland and Sweden join NATO allies, optimistic about mutual benefit

Russiainvaded Ukraine, brought Finland andSwedenMoving to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the military alliance may soon welcome two heavyweight partners to deter future Russian aggression.

The Russo-Ukrainian War has forced many Finns and Swedes to reconsider their long-standing opposition to joining NATO. The President and Prime Minister of Finland announced today that they will apply to join NATO immediately. Neighboring Sweden is also considering following suit.

Finland and Sweden have participated in NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program since 1994, joining NATO-led peacekeeping missions in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.

President of RussiaPutin(Vladimir Putin) The joining of Finland and Sweden expands NATO’s military capabilities at a time of growing hostility to the expansion of European influence.

“If these two countries join, it will strengthen NATO’s deterrence in the Arctic, northern Europe and the Baltic,” said Leo Mitchell, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank.

“They can also apply their geopolitical expertise concerning Russia to NATO’s decision-making process.”

After Finland joins, Finland’s military power will become even more important to NATO, as so far only Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Norway have direct borders between NATO members and Russia.

“An additional 1,400 kilometer range for defence. This is a huge burden for NATO,” a European official said on condition of anonymity.

It is also NATO’s largest expansion since the three Baltic states joined in 2004. Whatever the final development of the Ukraine war, Putin may see it as another incursion into Russia’s sphere of influence.

Michael Sherkin, an American political scientist and former CIA analyst, said: “The Russian incursion demonstrates Putin’s willingness to use force against international norms.”

“Another war against Russia’s neighbors is no longer impossible. It is a great possibility that these neighbors and their allies should be prepared for.”

Finland, in particular, was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939 and seemed eager to profit from collective defense. According to Article 5 of the treaty establishing NATO, an attack against any member state is considered an attack on all member states.

Charlie Salonius-Pasternak, lead researcher in global security at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, said that, like Sweden, “Finland will receive NATO’s nuclear deterrent, which is beyond Finland’s capabilities.”

A senior European diplomat said that within NATO, the two new giants could join “very welcome” and that no one could turn them down.

Jean-Baptiste Jean-Vimer, head of the Department of Strategic Research at the Institute of Strategic Studies (IRSEM) of the French Military School, noted shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February that the war “greatly strengthens the appeal of NATO because it proves that disunity with NATO will be weakened”.

“Individually and collectively, it will strengthen, and that’s what Putin wants to weaken.”

US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby told MSNBC today that Finland’s membership in NATO would be a historic decision and that joining NATO would not be too difficult.

Russia Sweden Putin

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