FINLAND AND SWEDEN
One of the most unexpected consequences from Putin’s assault on Ukraine to among other things, “halt NATO expansion,” has been the rapid shift in neutral Finland and Sweden’s defense posture.
Much to Putin’s chagrin, they are now extremely likely to formally join NATO within weeks.
Finland and Sweden applying for NATO membership would mark a major military change for the Nordic region.
Russia, with which Finland shares a 1,340-km border and a pre-1945 history of conflict, has warned it will deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in its Baltic coast enclave of Kaliningrad if Finland and Sweden decide to join the U.S.-led NATO alliance.
Finland and Sweden are militarily non-aligned but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted increasing public support to become members of the Western defensive alliance.
By joining NATO, founded in 1949, Finland and Sweden would be abandoning a belief held for decades that peace was best kept by not publicly choosing sides.
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Author: Paul Crespo
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