NATO’s steps may be a historic turning point for Finland and Sweden

NATO's steps may be a historic turning point for Finland and Sweden

The Prime Minister of Finland believes that NATO membership will not only strengthen Finland militarily, but also strengthen it politically.

– NATO is not only a military alliance, it is also a political alliance, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said during a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Wednesday.

According to Marin, Finland will make a quick decision.

– I can’t say a specific time, but it will happen quickly. The Finnish Prime Minister says we are talking about weeks, not months.

Anderson stresses that Finland’s choice of route will be important to Sweden.

It is clear that the choice of Finland’s path will affect us, says the Swedish Prime Minister.

Advocates of a joint and quick decision

Marin hopes Sweden and Finland will make the same decision.

– It would be good if we made the same choice in the future, but there is no condition. But Marin said on Wednesday that it would be very good to make the same choice and the same schedule.

Neither of the two Social Democratic leaders will present their decision.

We must analyze the situation to see what is best for Sweden’s security and for the Swedish people in this new situation, and we should not rush into it. One must do this very seriously. This is how I work as Prime Minister of Sweden, Andersson said.

Sources had mentioned before the press conference Svenska Dagbladet The Swedish Prime Minister supports Sweden’s accession to NATO.

According to the newspaper’s information, Sweden’s plan is to submit a request for the NATO meeting in Madrid at the end of June.

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If the two neighboring countries are in favor of NATO membership, this will be a historic turning point for the non-aligned countries.

US President Joe Biden welcomed Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the White House in March. Photo: Evelyn Hochstein/Reuters/NTP

In Sweden and Finland, controversy over NATO erupted after Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine.

According to a recent poll reproduced in Helsingin Sanomat 59% of the Finnish population believes that Finland should join NATO.

A number like a newspaper made It appears that more than half of the members of Parliament support NATO membership.

He wrote that the invasion of Ukraine affected the Finns’ view of Russia Hovodstadsbladet Tuesday.

He threatened Sweden and Finland

While Norway’s border with Russia is 198 km, Finland has 1,340 km of common border with Russia.

Finland has a defense against invasion with 280,000 soldiers and 900,000 reservists. By comparison, the total force structure of the Norwegian Armed Forces is 70,000 personnel.

In December last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a number of demands to NATO, warning Sweden and Finland against joining NATO.

Even after the invasion of Ukraine, Russia threatened Sweden and Finland.

“The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will have serious military and political consequences,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in February.

EXERCISE: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Swedish soldiers during the Cold Response exercise in March.  Photo: Yves Hermann/Reuters/NTP

EXERCISE: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Swedish soldiers during the Cold Response exercise in March. Photo: Yves Hermann/Reuters/NTP

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the threats had been repeated recently BBC.

Nearly 85 percent of Finns see Russia as a major military threat. A year ago, about 60 percent said the same thing.

– The choice of the Finnish route is crucial for Sweden

A Swedish delegation traveled to Finland last week for a summit with a neighboring country on possible future NATO membership, it said. express.

Several opinion polls show that Swedes are more positive about NATO membership if Finland also becomes a member.

SVT commentator Elisabeth Marmorstein says the choice of the Finnish track is crucial for the Swedish “yes” to NATO.

– The majority says that the government will go hand in hand with Finland, even if it comes to NATO, she writes Wednesday.

The meeting between the Prime Ministers of Sweden and Finland takes place at the same time that Finland presents its new meeting Security Policy Report. The report will form the basis for the elected Finnish representatives to be able to quickly review the advantages and disadvantages of joining the Defense Alliance.

Everyone should agree to it

The Finnish NATO application must be approved by all 30 member states before it can become a member. Last week, the US State Department announced the membership of Finland and Sweden as a topic among NATO foreign ministers.

Combined training: USMC aircraft in training in Finland with Finnish combat aircraft.  Photo: Caleb Stelter/USMC

Combined training: USMC aircraft in training in Finland with Finnish combat aircraft. Photo: Caleb Stelter/USMC

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg believes that it will be faster to bring Sweden into the alliance, if Sweden wants to, and believes that it will be possible to find transitional solutions that will ensure military protection for Sweden and Finland during the application process.

In an interview with Radio Sweden in March, Stoltenberg noted that both Sweden and Finland already have very close cooperation with NATO and meet the political and military requirements of the alliance.

If there are requests from Helsinki and Stockholm before the meeting of the leaders of NATO countries at the end of June, it is possible, according to the NTB, to include them in the alliance at the summit.

Andersen’s Social Democrats have called a meeting on May 24 where the party, according to Swedish media, will take a final stand on the NATO issue.

– The time is right

American experts are like the Finnish broadcaster YLE I’ve spoken to, I think the time is right for the application.

– It’s definitely a good time. Russian forces have problems in Ukraine, and the United States has a NATO-friendly president, says James Goldger, professor of international relations at Amercian University in Washington, DC.

Kimberly Martin, a professor of political science at Columbia University’s Barnard College in New York, says the Biden administration has created good conditions for Finland’s membership in NATO.

It’s not just about President Joe Biden being a NATO-friendly president. Martin told YLE that there is a possibility of Donald Trump being re-elected president in 2024, and he is not pro-NATO.

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

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