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

INTERNATIONAL – What if the war started by Russia in Ukraine turns against Russia? Moscow warned Sweden and Finland on Friday, April 15: “consequences” are expected if they join NATO. If the Ukrainian president, under pressure, finally backs away from his desire to join NATO, these two until then officially non-aligned countries are poised to consider a rapprochement with the Atlantic alliance, Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine and its atrocities brought them to think about.

These countries “need to understand the consequences of such a measure for our bilateral relations and for the European security architecture as a whole,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned in a press release. “Being a member of NATO cannot strengthen their national security. In fact, (Finland and Sweden) will be the front line of NATO,” she said.

Former Russian President and current number two on the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, had already confirmed on Thursday that Russia would strengthen its nuclear military assets in particular in the Baltic Sea and near Scandinavia if Finland or Sweden joined NATO.

It must be said that this idea is enough to make the Kremlin panic, because it was precisely to avoid NATO standing on its doorstep that it decided to invade Ukraine.

Wage a war to keep NATO out and take the risk of finding them on their doorstep

When Vladimir Putin launched his invasion, one of his goals was to resist any attempt by the West to expand militarily and politically towards Russia’s borders. However, Finland has an approximately 1300 km long border with Russia. By frightening its neighbors with its war in Ukraine, Moscow risked throwing them into the arms of the Atlanticists and eventually sharing a larger border with the alliance.

Enough to depict a “diplomatic disaster for Moscow,” notes CNN. An outrage that would add to the humiliations already suffered by the Kremlin in the ongoing conflict over Ukrainian resistance on the ground and the sinking of its flagship Moskva on April 14. Especially since this invasion, according to NATO figures published on April 7, has already cost the Russian army between 7,000 and 15,000 men.

This meeting of Stockholm and Helsinki would also be paradoxical, since Finland reluctantly inspired the term “Finlandization”, notes journalist Pierre Haski on France Inter. This word denotes a neutrality imposed by the Soviet Union in the past. In 1945, after several attempts to invade Russia, Finland agreed to align itself with Russian foreign policy while retaining sovereignty over its own domestic affairs. This enforced neutrality allowed Russia to hold a border with a country it did not feel threatened by. Which would no longer be the case in rallies.

Anyone who says border to NATO doubled says big defense

The theme is also military. If Finland falls into the alliance’s fold, the United States could station advanced military equipment there.

If it joins, “the alliance’s borders with Russia would more than double. And these borders must be defended,” noted the current number two of the Security Council of Russia in a message on Telegram.

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

Mentioning the Finnish and Swedish population, he believed that “no one in their right mind (…) can wish for an increase in tensions on their border and have next to their house (missiles) Iskander, hypersonic and ships with nuclear weapons. ”

“Vladimir Putin has made it very, very clear that he would see this as aggression, and we have already seen what Vladimir Putin does when he senses that there is some kind of aggression against Russia,” says Northeastern Professor Pablo Calderon University NBCBoston.

Be able to be more deterrent in the face of a more emboldened Russia

But it is precisely the fear of aggression that could persuade Helsinki to join NATO. In particular, a report released a few days ago, urgently commissioned by the Finnish government after Russia’s attack on Ukraine, suggests that such an alliance would provide a “much greater” deterrent to an attack by its neighbor.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told AFP he wanted to anticipate the possible future risks his country faces from Russia, particularly “in terms of tactical and chemical nuclear weapons”.

Finland and Sweden have 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 info.

If the Swedish Prime Minister reckons that her country’s membership could be decided “in the coming weeks”, Sweden seems to be more in the background than its neighbour. On Wednesday April 13, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said: “Faced with 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 ISS?

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