Putin’s War Backfires As Finland & Sweden Are Poised To Join NATO

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According to a report from the U.K. publication known as The Times, which cited Western officials: “Finland and Sweden look poised to join Nato as early as the summer” — a move that would represent a further expansion of the military coalition against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s violence. Per The Times, “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.” According to officials from the U.S., membership in NATO for Finland and Sweden was “a topic of conversation and multiple sessions” amid recent gatherings of foreign ministers across the NATO alliance — gatherings Finland and Sweden attended.

The Times said an application from Finland for membership in NATO appears set for June, and a similar move from Swedish authorities is believed to be on the rhetorical horizon after that expected Finnish application. The relationship between Ukraine and NATO was among the excuses provided by Russian authorities surrounding the Putin regime’s recently launched war against Ukraine, providing part of the most recent context for the remarks from one U.S. official quoted by The Times, who said: “How can this be anything but a massive strategic blunder for Putin?” It’s not immediately clear whether there’s been any public confirmation of a conclusive decision by either Finland or Swedish authorities to seek membership in NATO, but Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin recently remarked that “Russia is not the neighbour we thought it was.” Finland has a border with Russia that’s hundreds of miles long. Under NATO, member countries are obligated to participate in the defense of fellow members in the event of attacks — the concept is that an attack against one member of the alliance constitutes an attack against all.

Finnish officials are engaged in deliberations over their country’s stance. “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,” Marin recently said. Swedish authorities are also re-examining their country’s national security posture, and recently, that country’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said she does “not exclude NATO membership in any way.”

Meanwhile, the NATO alliance is “making plans to deploy a permanent full-scale military force on members’ borders to prevent a further Russian invasion,” as The Times summarized. Tens of thousands of additional troops associated with NATO have already assembled on the eastern edge of the alliance’s territory since the war in Ukraine started. “Rather than breaking Ukrainian resolve, Russia’s brutal tactics have strengthened their resolve,” President Biden recently observed. “Rather than driving NATO apart, the West is now stronger and more united than it has ever been… In fact, Russia has managed to cause something I’m sure [Putin] never intended: the democracies of the world are revitalized with purpose and unity found in months that would have once taken years to accomplish.”