Finland and Sweden soon in NATO? Why is Russia so tense?

What if Russia’s war in Ukraine turns against it? Moscow issued a warning to Sweden and Finland on Friday, April 15: if they join NATO, the “consequences” will be foreseeable. If the Ukrainian president, under pressure, finally backed down from his desire to join NATO, then these two countries, officially nonaligned until then, are ready to consider rapprochement with NATO, the Russian military attack on Ukraine and the atrocities it committed. Make them think.

In a press release, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that these countries “must understand the consequences of such an action for our bilateral relations and for the European security architecture as a whole.” “Being a NATO member cannot enhance its national security. Indeed, (Finland and Sweden) will be the front line of NATO.”

Already on Thursday, the former Russian president and the second current head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev emphasized that if Finland or Sweden join NATO, Russia will strengthen its military means, especially nuclear ones, in the Baltic Sea and near Scandinavia.

It must be said that this idea is enough to cause panic in the Kremlin, precisely because, in order to avoid the presence of NATO on its doorstep, he decided to invade Ukraine.

Wage war to keep NATO at bay, risk being found on its doorstep

When Vladimir Putin launched his invasion, one of his goals was to oppose any attempt by the West to expand militarily and politically toward Russia’s borders. However, Finland has about 1,300 kilometers of border with Russia. By intimidating its neighbors with its war in Ukraine, Moscow risked throwing them into the arms of the Atlantic and eventually found itself sharing a larger frontier with the alliance.

Enough to constitute a “diplomatic disaster for Moscow,” notes CNN. An outcry that would add to the humiliation the Kremlin had already suffered in the ongoing conflict, in the face of Ukrainian resistance on land and the sinking of his flagship Moskva on 14 April. Especially since this invasion has already cost, according to NATO figures released on April 7, 7,000-15,000 men for the Russian army.

This combination of Stockholm and Helsinki would also be contradictory because Finland, in spite of itself, inspired the term “Finland,” notes journalist Pierre Haske in France Inter. This word refers to the neutrality imposed in the past by the Soviet Union. In 1945, after several attempts to invade Russia, Finland agreed to align itself with Russia’s foreign policy while retaining sovereignty over its domestic policy. This enforced neutrality allowed Russia to maintain a border with a country where it did not feel threatened. Which is no longer the case if there is a rush.

Whoever says that the border with NATO has doubled, says great defense

The issue is also military. If Finland falls into the NATO fold, then the United States can deploy advanced military equipment there.

If it joins, “the alliance’s borders with Russia will double. And these borders must be defended.”

“In this case, there can be no non-nuclear Baltic Sea,” he added. It also discusses the deployment of infantry and anti-aircraft systems in northwestern Russia and the naval forces in the Gulf of Finland.

Referring to the Finnish and Swedish populations, he considered that “no sane person (…) could wish for an increase in tensions on his borders and be next to his home (missiles) Iskander, hypersonic and nuclear-armed ships.”

“Vladimir Putin has been very clear that he will see this as aggression, and we have already seen what Vladimir Putin did when he felt that there was some kind of aggression against Russia,” says Pablo Calderon, a professor at Northeastern University. NBC Boston.

Be able to be more deterrent against a more daring Russia

However, it is precisely the fear of aggression that could drive Helsinki to join NATO. A report prepared urgently by the Finnish government after the Russian attack on Ukraine, revealed a few days ago, considered that such an alliance would provide a “much greater” deterrent against any attack by its neighbor.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto made it clear to AFP that he wanted to anticipate possible future risks that his country might face from Russia, in particular “in the face of tactical and chemical nuclear weapons.”

Finland and Sweden received clear assurances from the organization’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, and the support of several countries such as the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, notes France information.

Although the Swedish prime minister has appreciated the possibility of deciding on her country’s membership “in the coming weeks”, Sweden appears to be in the background more than its neighbour. On Wednesday 13 April, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said: “Given this situation, we really need to think about what is best for Sweden, our security and our peace in this new situation.”

See also on The HuffPost: What would happen if Russia left the International Space Station?

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