Russia warned Finland and Sweden: Never join NATO

Russia threatened military and politicalconsequences against Finland and Sweden if they attempted to join NATO. Russian foreignministry spokesman Maria Zakharova warned against other countries attempting to joinNATO after Russia started a fight with Ukraine. Russia and Finland share a 1,340 -kilometerborder, which is the longest shared between Russia and any European Union member state. Maria Zakharova said in a news conference, “Finland and Sweden should not base their securityon damaging the security of other countries and their accession to NATO can have detrimentalconsequences and face some military and politicalconsequences.” The ministry last-minute posted the samethreat on its Twitter. Finland and Sweden have given significant military and humanitariansupport to Ukraine since Russia occupied. Zakharova argued that while every commonwealth has asovereign right to choose ways of ensuring its security, all members of the Organization forSecurity and Cooperation in Europe corroborated their adherence to the principle that thesecurity of one government shouldnt be achieved to the detriment of another countrys security. We view Finlands route for maintaining thepolicy of armed non-alignment as an importantfactor contributing to stability and security in northern Europe and on the European continent asa whole, Zakharova said, adding that we cant fail to see consistent attempts by NATO and some ofits members, primarily the U.S ., to drag Finland as well as Sweden into the alliance. She notedan increase of NATO drills on their territories. Though not members, Finland and Sweden closelycooperate with NATO, earmarking, among other things, the alliances units to activity on theirsoil.Helsinki and Stockholm have also greatly intensified their bilateral defensecooperation in the last year, and secured close armed coordinated with the United State, Britain and neighboring NATO member Norway. One ploy Russia has given for attackingUkraine is that NATO would not apply any certainty that Ukraine would not be allowed tojoin the intergovernmental armed alliance. Ukraine has been adamant about participating but is nowwilling to discuss a different status with NATO after hundreds were killed in thefirst day of fighting the Russians. Mikko Hautala, Finlands ambassador to the U.S.boasted about both countries strong military and said he didnt verify an “immediate threat”after a Russian official indicated military action if the Nordic nation were to join NATO. Hesaid, “We are not in a position that we will get scared because of one statement.We have one ofthe best hordes in Europe. We have strong defense. We have really good international partners.”Haavistos oaths were resonated by the Finnish President Sauli Niinisto who that he didnt seethe statement meaning Moscow was threatening Finland militarily but preferably what kindof countersteps Russia would make shouldFinland join NATO. Niinisto told Finnish mediathat he didnt see Zakharovas statement being any different from what she and RussianForeign Minister Sergey Lavrov have said before on Finlands possible membership inNATO. He also noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the issue with a similartone already in 2016 during his Finland visit. Finland’s Foreign Minister PekkaHaavisto said “we’ve heard this before. “We don’t think that it calls for a militarythreat. Should Finland be NATO’s external perimeter, it rather means that Russia would certainly takethat into account in its own defense planning.” In Sweden, Prime Minister Magdalena Anderssonsaid: “I want to be extremely clear.It is Sweden that itself and independentlydecides on our security policy line.” Alexander Stubb, who provided from 2008 -2 016 asFinland foreign minister, later tweeted that Russia is propagandizing Finland closer to NATOmembership. Closer than ever before. Our security has been partially based on an option tojoin. At this charge we have no other alternative but tojoin. Finlands accession would strengthen theAlliance and help keep Northern Europe stable. U.S. President Joe Biden said in an interviewthat notes from neutral Finland and Sweden about possibly attaching NATO show the depth ofRussian President Vladimir Putin’s miscalculationin attacking Ukraine. He said, “Not simply is NATOmore combined, look at what’s going on in terms of Finland, look at what’s going on in terms ofSweden, look what’s going on in non-eu countries. I entail he’s produce the exact oppositeeffect that he planned. All I know is we have to stay the course with the rest of our allies.” Of the 27 EU members, Finland is one of time sixthat is not likewise a member organization participating in the NATO alongsideAustria, Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and Sweden. Finland is part of Natos Partnershipfor Peace programme, nonetheless, that allows resilient cooperationbetween the two parties and is generally seen as a trust-building outfit thatmay eventually lead to a full NATO membership. But while Finland maintains the right tomake up its own mind about affiliating Nato, it has previously become clear itsintentions not to join the alliance. The Russian-Finnish Winter War that tookplace from 1939 to 1940 created a strong belief of armed prowess for Finlandand, unlike most countries in Europe, it did not significantly reduce its militaryfollowing the Cold War.Perhaps because itshares a 1,340 km strip with Russia, ensuringit can protect itself has since been a high priority for Finland and with it the beliefthat it does not need NATO to remain secure. Sweden has long maintained a neutral stance inworld politics, though like Finland it participated NATOs Partnership for Peace programme in 1994. Sweden has viewed impartiality for 200 years and as it relies on trade with both the United Statesand Russia it has sought to stay that method. The contests of 2014 altered this goal somewhat, however, as Sweden began running riches back into its military after several acts ofhostility from Russia.Sweden reportedmultiple incursions into its territory withRussia believed to be at the helm. The invasionof Ukraines Crimean Peninsula also promptedSweden to boost its military capabilities. Public positivity towards NATO spiked as aresult, and in 2019, data from Gothenburg University showed that roughly the sameamount of people wanted to join NATOas those who didnt. Despite this, SwedishPrime Minister Magdalena Andersson made clear that her country still believes in its neutrality.She said: Sweden has been alliance-free for an extremely long time.It has performed Swedensinterests well. I want to be extremely clear. It is Sweden that itself and independentlydecides on our security policy strand. While internal polling in both nations has shownvarying levels of support for NATO membership over the years, there has never been enough support tojoin the alliance. A 2021 survey found that approximately 26% of Finns were in favor of joining NATO, 40% are against, and the remaining populationwas undecided. In Sweden, a 2022 referendum acquired 42% infavor and 37% against a stronger starting point, but still not enough to cause politiciansto begin a serious ascension effort. Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said”I invited NATOs close spouses Finland, Sweden and the European Union to oursummit.Because this crisis affects us all.” While Finland is not a member of any partnership, its security policy is rooted in the understanding that it cannot isolate itself from a Europeanconflict. Finlands main and minimum contribution to allied struggles would be the protection ofsouthern Finland from a Russian incursion, thereby affirming Moscow the use of Finnish territory orairspace to operate against its Baltic neighbours. But Finland could do more. In wartime, certainNATO friends would likely seek to use Finlands airspace to defend the Baltic countries arequest that would be hard to deny generated Finlands dependence on the West. Finland is reliant on theflow of transaction and plies from the West across the Baltic Sea, and would need its partnersassistance in a conflict to keep these crucial indications of communications open and, if there is a need, tofind alternative routes through Sweden or Norway.

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