Finland and Sweden could soon join NATO, a move that would surely make Moscow furious and emphasize Russia’s geopolitical mistakes when invading Ukraine, according to officials.
NATO officials told an international media that discussions about Sweden and Finland joining the bloc have intensified since Russia’s invasion, and US foreign ministry officials said the issue came up this week on NATO’s foreign minister, who was attended by Stockholm’s foreign ministers. and Helsinki.
Officials claimed that the discussions highlighted how Vladimir Putin’s invasion has only served to revive and unite NATO, which is the opposite of Putin’s alleged pre-war intentions. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on NATO to stop expanding eastward and accept new members, claiming that the alliance was a threat to Russian security. NATO, on the other hand, has strengthened its support for Ukraine and is gearing up to welcome new members.
As Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on, public opinion in both nations has shifted considerably in favor of joining the defense alliance, with a former Finnish prime minister telling a foreign news website that the accession “was largely a clear deal” on February 24, when Russia attacked. “
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced on Friday that her country’s parliament will examine possible NATO membership “in the coming weeks”, with the aim of concluding talks “before midsummer”.
“I think we will have very cautious discussions,” she said, “but we will not spend more time than necessary in this process because the issue is, of course, quite serious.”
If Sweden and Finland join NATO, the Kremlin said it must “rebalance the situation.”
“When it comes to ensuring our security, we need to make our western flank more advanced,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sky News.
On Friday, a Russian state jet launched two cyber attacks and violated Finnish airspace. Both Stubb and the Finnish official said that Helsinki expects such attacks and dismissed the possibility of a harsh response from Moscow, if Finland joins NATO, despite the fact that the two countries share a border of 800 km.
According to a European official, some NATO countries are considering the potential for a Russian attack before Finland falls under the protection of the alliance.
“As for the interim period, I am sure we will find ways to address the concerns they may have during the period between the future application and the final ratification,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week.
There have been no requests for help from any of the countries, according to the Pentagon, but “if a country calls and asks for US cooperation, we will definitely take it into account.”