Russia Triggered the NATO membership Process in Scandinavia

Russia Triggered the NATO membership Process in Scandinavia
Russia Triggered the NATO membership Process in Scandinavia

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to prevent the country’s NATO membership may have triggered a new political process. Finland plans to initiate a debate on joining NATO, Finnish officials said on Wednesday, as the country reconsiders its longtime stance outside the North Atlantic alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


According to Reuters, “There are different perspectives to apply (for) NATO membership or not to apply, and we have to analyse these very carefully,” she said at a news conference in Stockholm and added, “But I think our process will be quite fast.”
Marin spoke alongside Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, who said Sweden was also re-examining its position outside NATO.
Russia Triggered the NATO membership Process in Scandinavia
The ministers spoke as the Finnish government released an official assessment Wednesday of how Russia’s invasion has changed its security environment, beginning a process that has been expected to culminate in a request to join NATO. The assessment, known as a white paper, does not recommend NATO membership. However, it will be a starting point for parliamentary debate as the country weighs a historic shift in its defence policy.
Russia Triggered the NATO membership Process in Scandinavia
Finland and neighbouring Sweden are officially nonaligned militarily. The white paper marks the start of the process for Finland, where support for joining NATO has jumped to 68 per cent, according to a poll over the weekend.
Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen, speaking to reporters in Helsinki following the paper’s release, said he hoped a decision would be made before the summer. He said Finland’s strong military capability would contribute to NATO security.
Russia Triggered the NATO membership Process in Scandinavia
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said he hoped Finland and Sweden could take any potential step toward a membership on the same timetable but said Stockholm would make its own decision.
Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats, who have traditionally opposed NATO membership, have also said they will be rethinking their position in the coming months — although the exact timing is unclear.
Russia has warned of “serious military-political consequences” and “retaliation” should the two countries join. Although Finnish leaders have mostly downplayed the threat, the country is preparing for a range of possible responses from Russia, from severe to primarily symbolic, said Henri Vanhanen, a foreign policy expert and adviser to Finland’s National Coalition Party.