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Finland and Sweden set to join NATO as soon as summer

F-22Raptor

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Russia has made a “massive strategic blunder” as Finland and Sweden look poised to join Nato as early as the summer, according to officials.

Washington is banking on the move that will stretch Russia’s military and enlarge the western alliance from 30 to 32 members as a direct consequence of President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

US officials said Nato membership for both Nordic countries was “a topic of conversation and multiple sessions” during talks between the alliance’s foreign ministers last week attended by Sweden and Finland. “How can this be anything but a massive strategic blunder for Putin?,” one senior American official said.


Finland’s application is expected in June, with Sweden expected to follow.

Sanna Marin, the Finnish prime minister, said it was time for Finland seriously to reconsider its stance on Nato. “Russia is not the neighbour we thought it was,” she said at the weekend, urging the decision to be taken “thoroughly but quickly”.

She added: “I think we will have very careful discussions, but we are also not taking any more time than we have to in this process, because the situation is, of course, very severe.”

Sweden is carrying out a security policy review that will finish by the end of next month, mirroring the Finnish timetable. “I do not exclude Nato membership in any way,” Magdalena Andersson, the Swedish prime minister, said a fortnight ago.

The countries are working together to build domestic consensus but, officials emphasise, the final decisions will be taken independently. Both face Russia across the Baltic Sea and Finland shares an 830-mile land border.

Nato is making plans to deploy a permanent full-scale military force on members’ borders to prevent a further Russian invasion as it adapts to a “new reality”. Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary general, said President Putin’s actions had provoked “a fundamental transformation” of the military coalition, which would reflect the long-term consequences of the war in Ukraine.

Nato now has 40,000 troops under its direct command on Europe’s eastern flank, from the Baltic to the Black Sea. This marks a nearly tenfold increase on the size of its force before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Stoltenberg said Nato’s military power could be bolstered again to make countries that share borders with Russia and Belarus capable of repelling an attempted invasion.

“What we see now is a new reality, a new normal for European security,” he told The Sunday Telegraph. “Therefore, we have now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a more longer-term adaptation of Nato. I expect that Nato leaders will make decisions on this when they meet in Madrid at the Nato summit in June.”

Nato membership for Finland and Sweden would prompt redeployment on Putin’s northwestern flank, further stretching his military, which has been badly affected by Ukraine’s resistance and the prolonged conflict.

European diplomats emphasise that both countries would significantly augment Nato’s capabilities, especially in terms of intelligence-gathering and air force powers. “Sweden and Finland would be real feathers in Nato’s cap as net contributors. They are real players,” a European alliance diplomat said.

Russia has warned against Finland and Sweden joining Nato. “Everything is about mutual deterring and should one side — and we consider Nato to be one side — be more powerful than the other, especially in terms of nuclear arms, then it will be considered a threat for the whole architecture of security and it will take us to take additional measures,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told Sky News on Friday.

Finland’s potential move to join Nato’s ranks risks chilling its ties with Moscow, Russian analysts and experts have warned (Samantha Berkhead writes).

Once fierce foes in the 1939 Winter War, the neighbours, who share an 830-mile border, have since built a partnership based on pragmatism and realism.

That all changed when Russia invaded Ukraine. Days later Finland’s largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, ran an editorial admitting that the “special relationship” with Russia was void. “The other basic pillars of Finland’s security will therefore inevitably have to be considered,” the editorial said.

Support for joining Nato rose to 62 per cent in March, a 19 per cent increase in a month.

But Russia has made clear that it sees further expansion toward its borders as a “red line”.

“It will poison bilateral relations,” Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of political consultancy R.Politik, said.

However, Finland joining Nato is unlikely to ignite the fire-breathing response from Moscow it would have in the past.

“If this were a year ago, the reaction would be really extreme and emotional. But in the current situation, this threat is not at the top of Russia’s list of problems,” Stanovaya said.

She added that Finland, unlike Ukraine, is not part of the former Soviet Union, which Russia sees as firmly falling within its sphere of influence. “It’s less painful, geopolitically,” Stanovaya said.

 

Viet

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Russia turns into a monster under Putin’s rule. It’s better to barricade the houses.

Germany is reenforcing bunkers, installing air raid sirens.
 
Oct 15, 2017
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Latest polls show that nearly 70% in Finland support joining NATO. Btw, NATOs popularity was around 22-25% before Ukrainian invasion.


Finland is spooked. Finland used to be part of Russian empire. Finnish political elites love to retain their political power instead of being absorbed into Russia and therefore lose their political power.
 

Broccoli

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Finland is spooked. Finland used to be part of Russian empire. Finnish political elites love to retain their political power instead of being absorbed into Russia and therefore lose their political power.

Nobody in Finland wants to be part of Russia. Where you get that nonsense?
 

mmr

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Dumb putin miscalculation going to make Russia a shit hole. NATO will increase its defense spending lot more and will expand outside Europe.
 
Oct 15, 2017
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Dumb putin miscalculation going to make Russia a shit hole. NATO will increase its defense spending lot more and will expand outside Europe.

If NATO can unity the entire human race under a single hegemony, might be a good thing. But I don't see it happening. I don't see NATO conquering China or Russia or India.
 
Feb 22, 2017
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NATO (Plus Australia, Japan, South Korea etc):

Population 1.3 Billion
GDP: 58 Trillion
Defense Spending: 1400 billion
Man Power: 4,5 million
Fighter jets: 5000+
Military planes: 25.000+
Warships: 1000+
Submarines: 200+
Nukes: 7000+

WE ARE NATO!


1649687905639.png


I can’t wait for Sweden, Finland, Japan, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and New Zeland to join NATO
 
Oct 15, 2017
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NATO (Plus Australia, Japan, South Korea etc):

Population 1.3 Billion
GDP: 58 Trillion
Defense Spending: 1400 billion
Man Power: 4,5 million
Fighter jets: 5000+
Military planes: 25.000+
Warships: 1000+
Submarines: 200+
Nukes: 7000+

WE ARE NATO!


View attachment 833304

I can’t wait for Sweden, Finland, Japan, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and New Zeland to join NATO

@waz

Please do something about this nonsense which @Get Ya Wig Split posts repeatedly.
 

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