Finland Stuns The World with Its Recent Decision

Finland will move ahead with its application to join NATO following weeks of speculation and in spite of mounting threats from Moscow. In a joint declaration, the country’s President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced their interest in and intent to sign up with the military alliance.

“Time has been needed to let Parliament and the whole society establish their stands on the matter. Time has been needed for close international contacts with NATO and its member countries, as well as with Sweden,” the leaders said on May 12. “We have wanted to give the discussion the space it required.”

Niinistö and Marin believe joining NATO would increase their country’s national security and would strengthen the alliance in turn.

“Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,” Niinistö and Marin concluded. “We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

NATO would double its borders with Russia if Finland is accepted. The Finnish-Russian border covers approximately 800 miles.

Protesters holding posters Stand with Ukraine Stop Putin on protest against Russian aggression. Helsinki, Finland, 2.07.2022

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has actually called the growth of NATO a hazard to its security. Through a representative, the ministry stated it would be obliged to “retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop threats to its national security arising.”

“Finland joined the unfriendly steps taken by the European Union towards our country. This cannot fail to arouse our regret, and is a reason for corresponding symmetrical responses on our side,” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, told reporters on May 12.

“NATO expansion does not make our continent more stable and secure,” Peskov said.

First Deputy Representative of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy told UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers,

“They know that the moment they become members of NATO it will imply certain mirror moves on the Russian side,” he said. “If there are NATO detachments in those territories, these territories would become a target — or a possible target — for a strike.”

“NATO is a very unfriendly bloc to us — it is an enemy and NATO itself admitted that Russia is an enemy. It means that Finland and Sweden all of a sudden, instead of neutral countries, become part of the enemy and they bear all the risks. So they would bear certain defence risks of course, certain economic costs — but it’s up to them to decide… They were living normally as good neighbours with us for tens of years; if they suddenly choose to become part of a very unfriendly bloc, it’s up to them.”

Russian President Vladimir has clearly asked President Biden to vow Ukraine would not be admitted into NATO during talks in December. Ukraine has actually looked to join the alliance since the early 2000s.

Biden did not consent to the condition, according to remarks made by nationwide security advisor Jake Sullivan.

Sullivan informed press reporters at the time that the president “stands by the proposition that countries should be able to freely choose who they associate with,” per CNBC.

Two months later, Russia illegally launched an unprovoked invasion of their sovereign neighbor Ukraine.

Finland is expected to be seamlessly and almost immediately integrated into NATO.

“Finland’s NATO-compatible military has a wartime strength of 280,000 and 900,000 reservists, in addition to some of the most sophisticated intelligence and cyber capabilities in Europe,” reports Axios.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Newsweek that he  “welcomed” the joint announcement from the Finnish president and prime minister.

“This is a sovereign decision by Finland, which NATO fully respects,” Stoltenberg said via email. “Should Finland decide to apply, they would be warmly welcomed into NATO, and the accession process would be smooth and swift.”

Sweden is likewise thinking about signing up with NATO and is anticipated to reveal its decision this weekend. Both Sweden and Finland had actually preserved close collaborations with the military alliance although they had actually never officially been members of the bloc, clinging tightly to a stance of strategic neutrality since the close of WWII.

Notably, both Finland and Sweden have unexpectedly humbled Russia in conflicts throughout their history, most recently in the devastating Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union of 1939-40 and the Finnish War of 1808-09 between Sweden and the Russian Empire.

H/T Timcast

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