August 14, 2022

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Finland and Sweden in NATO – Nordic Farewell to Neutrality – News

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Coalition freedom is no more. Finland and Sweden want to join Western military alliance.

A few months ago, there were no plans or objectives. “Since I am the Minister in charge, there will be no NATO accession,” said Sweden’s Defense Minister Peter Hultquist in a widely praised speech earlier this year. That was before February 24, the day Russian troops invaded neighboring Ukraine.

“Hope was broken that day,” said Finnish President Sauli Niinist√∂, who, despite all the difficulties in recent years, has always had a direct path to his Russian envoy, Vladimir Putin. The dialogue, which was possible at any time beyond the 1,340 km long eastern border, formed the basis for Finnish neutrality since the end of World War II.

Myth:

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultquist during a visit to troops in Copenhagen, Sweden’s neighbor Denmark. Denmark is a founding member of NATO.

Imego Images

On Thursday, Ninesto will make history by publicly declaring its support for NATO’s bid to join NATO – in doing so would be the first of several dominoes to make the two Nordic countries new members of the Western military alliance in the coming weeks.

75% of NATO members in Finland

On the same day, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin will approve an application to join NATO. This is followed by a vote in the Finnish parliament, with almost all parties in favor of NATO members. According to a recent study, nearly 75 percent of the Finnish population supports a significant change in the security policy of the Nordic EU country.

This Finnish decision has a direct impact on its western neighbor Sweden, which declared its neutrality 214 years ago. Next Sunday, Defense Minister Peter Hultquist’s ruling Social Democratic Party conference will vote in favor of joining NATO. He wants to stay in office despite other promises he made earlier this year. And there is no longer any serious talk in Sweden about the long-promised referendum on the NATO membership event.

Maurer and Ninisto near a river

Myth:

Finnish President Saul Ninisto visited Switzerland in 2013. At the time, Ueli Maurer was still head of VBS and showed him the Swiss Rescue Troops.

Keystone

In fact, both Finland and Sweden have been preparing for NATO politically and strategically for years. After the first Russian invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the two Nordic neutral countries signed mutual aid agreements with NATO. However, full access was not politically possible until Moscow invaded Ukraine.

New Security Policy Map

With the final push within NATO, the defense policy map of Northern Europe is fundamentally changing: the common border between Russia and NATO is now twice as long. In addition, Finland and Sweden must ask themselves whether they will tolerate NATO troops or even nuclear weapons in their territory in the future. The latter can no longer go to the many northerners who have now become NATO supporters.

Finally, people in Helsinki and Stockholm are curious about the Russian reaction to the admission announcements. While no direct military offensive is expected, mixed attacks on the information technology systems of the two countries and potential conflicts over long land and sea borders are expected. In the past, Moscow has always warned against a Nordic farewell to neutrality.

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