With Putin’s anger, some outsiders moved closer to NATO

President of Russia Vladimir PutinTough talk and threatening military buildup UkraineThe boundary can backfire and cause one thing he Say he Don’t want: extension NATO To more countries RussiaAt the door of the house.

Although Mr. Putin Is seeking a guarantee from the west Ukraine Other countries are not allowed to join Western military alliances, some regional countries that have long avoided NATO Members who support the neutral policy are reconsidering purely in response RussiaAggressive posture.

Most notably, senior Finnish officials recently forcibly asserted that Helsinki has the right to apply NATO Membership, anyway Moscow Feel it.Sweden’s more conservative parties are getting closer NATO In recent years, elections this spring may make this problem even more prominent.

After the far-right party changed its policy, the Swedish Parliament officially passed the “NATO Option” was a 204-145 vote last month. This option allows the Swedish Parliament to consider applying for membership at some point in the future. The measure passed strong opposition from a minority government led by a center-left party.

According to reports, Calle Hakansson, an analyst at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, told Public Service Television that the motion did not force the government to take action, but “we can now look forward to a more comprehensive political debate on the eventual Swedish membership.” By European politics.

Finland and Sweden have established active diplomatic relations with the alliance, but as military non-aligned countries, both sides have insisted on autonomy for a long time, partly because of fear of anger Moscow.

However, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin emphasized in their official New Year speeches that no matter what security “guarantee” the Kremlin seeks, Finland can choose to join NATO at any time.

According to the online publication Brussels Morning News, Niinisto stated that Finland has “room for maneuver and freedom of choice”, including “the possibility of military alliances and application for NATO membership, if we decide ourselves.”

Ms. Marin said that Finland “learned lessons from the past”, which obviously refers to the troubled history between Helsinki and Moscow, which can be traced back to the Soviet Union’s annexation of West Karelia from Finland during the Russian-Finnish War of 1939-1940.

Since Russia forcibly annexed the Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Finnish nationalists have rekindled their anxiety about this period of history. The renewed foreign policy aggression in the Putin era. The aggression included a direct provocation against Stockholm.

According to a comment written by the then Swedish Air Force Major Karl in 2016, “For Sweden, the simulated nuclear attack on Sweden by Russian bombers on Easter Friday night in 2013 was the first wake-up call for Russia’s revival.” Bergwest.

The comment published in the online magazine “War of the Rocks” pointed out that Russia’s posture prompted Sweden and Finland to “sign a “host country support agreement with NATO to speed up the process of NATO garrison when needed.”

In August, after Russian warships were spotted on Gotland in the Baltic Sea, the Swedish army was hurriedly dispatched to the area.

The divergence of public opinion is a factor in the two countries. Opinion polls found that the Swedes disagree on the wisdom of joining NATO, but pollsters found that compared with the 1990s, the Swedes have undergone a major change, when the vast majority of people opposed joining NATO. A recent poll in Finland found that a majority of 40% still oppose joining NATO, with a support rate of 26%, but sentiment in support of NATO is rising.

Even before the President and Prime Minister of Finland delivered New Year’s speeches, Russia expressed disappointment that Finland or Sweden might try to join NATO.

According to “EU Today”, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated on December 29: “It is clear that Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO will have serious military and political consequences. Russia needs to do Give a full response.”

The United States and NATO are increasingly worried that Russia may be about to invade Ukraine. Russia has been building an army on the Ukrainian border.

The buildup triggered the U.S.-backed Ukrainian army to dig on their side of the border, causing foreign policy headaches for the Biden administration.

Moscow even tested hypersonic missiles to emphasize its request from the West to ensure that NATO will not further expand to Russia’s neighboring countries.

President Biden warned Putin on the phone last week that if the Russian army takes further military actions against Ukraine, the United States may substantially increase its sanctions against Moscow in response to this request. Putin said that such a move by the United States may lead to a complete breakdown of relations between the two countries.

Biden then worked hard throughout the weekend to prevent war in Europe. A few days after nearly an hour of difficult talks with Putin, he arranged an inspiring meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodmir Zelensky.

Although some in Washington said Mr. Biden’s attitude towards Moscow was not firm enough, on Sunday, an important Democrat warned Mr. Putin that his hard-line talk might trigger what he worried: more countries close to the Russian border and NATO signs an agreement to protect itself.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, a California Democrat and chairman of the Standing Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, said that Russia’s military actions against Ukraine will trigger people to rethink the border between Russia and the West.

“I also think that a strong deterrent is understanding that if they do invade, it will bring [NATO] Get closer to Russia, not push it further,” Mr. Schiff said on the CBS “Face the Country” program.

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