Why Finland, Sweden joining NATO makes a lot of sense

Brussels – this is probably the fastest NATO Eternal expansion will redraw the security map of Europe.Finnish leaders announced Thursday that they believe Finland should join the largest military organization in the world because Russiawar Ukraine. Sweden Will follow soon.

If they apply to join, the move would have far-reaching implications for Nordic and transatlantic security.

No doubt it will also anger their big neighbors Russiawhich is at least partly to blame for its war Ukraine exist NATOcontinued expansion closer to its boundaries.It is unclear how the Russian president Vladimir Putin May retaliate. The Kremlin said on Thursday that it would certainly not improve security in Europe.

Here’s a quick look at what Finland and SwedenMembers in 30 countries NATO The alliance could mean the Nordic partners are expected to announce their intention to join within days.

Finland and Sweden

Not as neutral as Switzerland, Finland and Sweden Traditionally consider themselves “non-aligned” militarily.

but Russiawar Ukraine and Putinobviously want to build a MoscowCentering on the “sphere of influence” completely shakes their security concept.just a few days later he The February 24 invasion was ordered, and public opinion changed dramatically.

support in Finland for NATO Membership has hovered around 20-30% for years. It is now over 70%.both are NATOof the closest partners, but maintain a good relationship Russia has been an important part of their foreign policy, especially for Finland.

Now they want to get from NATO States – mostly the US – just in case Moscow revenge. Britain pledged aid on Wednesday.

Nordic region

NATO Join regional neighbours Denmark, Norway and Iceland, whose membership will formalise their joint security and defence efforts in a way that the Nordic defence cooperation agreement does not.

NORDEFCO is known to focus on collaboration.work inside NATO Means placing forces under joint command.

Joining will strengthen Nordic strategic control of the Baltic Sea – RussiaSea access to the city of St. Petersburg and its Kaliningrad enclave.

Finland and Sweden Join them too, with Iceland, in the center of the triangle formed with the North Atlantic and Arctic seas, get there Russia Project its military power from the north of the Kola Peninsula.fusion NATO Military planning will become simpler, making the area easier to defend.

NATO

Finland and Sweden Yes NATOclosest partner. They contributed to coalition operations and air policing.

Most importantly, they have met NATOMembership criteria for well-functioning democracies, good-neighborly relations, clear borders and armed forces that keep pace with allies.After the invasion, they officially fortified with NATO And attend every meeting on war issues.

Both sides are modernizing their armed forces and investing in new equipment. Finland Dozens of high-end F-35s are being procured. Sweden Has a top fighter, the Gripen.

Finland says it has been hit NATODefense spending is 2% of GDP. Sweden It is also increasing its military budget and expects to reach its target by 2028. NATO The average estimate last year was 1.6%.

Russia

Putin already requested NATO stop expanding and enter his The May 9 speech blamed the war on the West.

But public opinion is Finland and Sweden show he drive them in NATOarm.

if Finland Join, it will double the length of the alliance border Russiaan additional 1,300 km (830 miles) Moscow defend.

Putin Promises a “military, technical” response if they join.But many troops from RussiaNear the West End Finland be sent to Ukraineand those troops suffered heavy casualties, Western officials said.

to date, Moscow No obvious steps were taken to dissuade the two men – perhaps save for a few incidents of Russian planes entering their airspace.The Kremlin said Thursday that its response may depend on distance NATO infrastructure towards Russiaborder.

some in NATO There are fears that Russia could deploy nuclear weapons or more hypersonic missiles to the Kaliningrad enclave, which straddles the Baltic Sea and is sandwiched between allies Poland and Lithuania.

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