Finland will join NATO, but some question where it will lead

Finnish helicopter takes off

Finland will apply to join NATO, the country’s leadership has announced. Sweden is expected to follow suit. Both nations have historically been neutral, but the Russian war in Ukraine has shifted attitudes. In Finland, according to some figures, support for NATO membership shot up to 76% after the Russian invasion.

On Thursday morning, Finnish president Sauli Niinistö said he had spoken with Ukraine’s Volodyymr Zelenskyy about the application:

Boris Johnson has been a central figure in the decision. On Wednesday, he pledged the UK would respond with force if Finland was attacked. This effectively makes Finland a NATO member already:

Read on...

NATO’s Article 5 ties allies into responding militarily if partners are attacked:

The principle of collective defence is at the very heart of NATO’s founding treaty. It remains a unique and enduring principle that binds its members together, committing them to protect each other and setting a spirit of solidarity within the Alliance.

Militarisation

Others have questioned whether the move would increase the likelihood of war:

While some suggested that the trade-off wasn’t worth it, especially given that Russia is unlikely to invade Finland:

Another social media user suggested that if Donald Trump were to be re-elected in the US, he might leave NATO, leaving the countries unprotected anyway:

Sweden?

Swedish president Carl Bildt also announced that his country would seek membership:

This is significant because Sweden has been a neutral country since the 1800s. As such, joining a military alliance would be a serious change in the balance of European politics.

However, as one Twitter user pointed out, Russia’s Vladimir Putin is likely to cite the new applications as evidence of NATO expansion:

Militarism

Sweden and Finland have the right to apply for NATO membership. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is understandable that such a move would have public support. However, it is also true that Europe is becoming increasingly militarised as what looks like a new Iron Curtain hardens across the continent.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/David Smith, cropped to 770 x 403, licenced under CC BY 2.0.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Utter madness – the Ukraine situation is totally dissimilar to Finland & Sweden. The present relationship with Russia isn’t broken, why rock the boat?
      Do they really want to be another US cat’s paw?

    2. Many Swedes on the Right are still embittered that king Karl XII lost out to the Russians in his attempt to create a Swedish empire in Europe in the late 17th – early18 th centuries. If, by a large stretch of the imagination, Russia was the most gentle, brotherly nation they would still have this resentment boiling on their guts. Swedish television´s chief reporter in Eastern Europe oozes russophobia from his pores. The fact that joining Nato will make Sweden a potential target for Russia doesn´t seem to bother then a bit.

    3. It’s a choice for the Swedes and Finns to make. UK student websites like the Canary can rant about it being a US plot etc but you are not the ones living on the border of a country currently sending in its troops on a mission of rape and mass executions of civilians.

      Let’s have some reporting on the growing number of Russian families of soldiers refusing to be silenced by Putin over their lost sons.

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