Finland and Sweden speak out on NATO membership plans — Analysis
In light of the Ukraine conflict, the leaders of both Nordic countries met to discuss the security of their region.
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson have expanded on their country’s possible NATO bids following bilateral talks on security in Stockholm on Wednesday.
Helsinki’s decision on whether to apply for the US-led military bloc or not “will happen quite fast,”Marin made these remarks during a joint media conference. ”It will happen in weeks, not months.”
Just like Sweden and Finland, Finland has been following a policy that does not want to join military alliances. “everything had changed”After the Russian military intervention in Ukraine was launched, she noted.
Marin stated that she would like to see a consensus on NATO membership within Finnish political circles. “All the parliamentary groups and also the president will have the opportunity to make the decision in the upcoming weeks,”She said that MPs would hear from security experts about the topic.
Andersson said that Sweden wouldn’t rush the decision to join NATO, but promised a thorough, yet expedited assessment of the security situation.
“This is an important time in history,”She spoke out in reference to events in Ukraine. “The security landscape has completely changed.”
“We have to think about what is best for Sweden, for our security and peace,”The PM was added.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper claimed that Andersson’s goal was to submit the Swedish application to join NATO this June. When journalists asked him about the claim, however, the PM declined to confirm it.
On Monday, Britain’s Times newspaper reported, citing US officials, that the Finnish application for the bloc is expected in June, with Sweden following suit shortly after that.
Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Sweden each have access the Baltic Sea. The shared Russian-Finnish border spans some 1,340km.
On Wednesday, Moscow also denied any Russian threat. These claims are made by Helsinki and Stockholm in order to support their desire to join NATO.
They are part of the propaganda and provocations realm. They are against national interest of these countries.”Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry insists.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s press secretary, said last week to Sky News that Moscow doesn’t consider the possibility of Sweden and Finland joining the bloc an existential threat, despite its opposition to NATO expansion. Russia would have to take measures in order for such a scenario to occur. “Our security is better protected by the Western flank,”He reminded us.
Russia launched an aggressive campaign against Ukraine late February. This was in response to Ukraine’s inability to comply with the Minsk Agreements signed in 2014. Russia also recognized the Donbass republics, Donetsk, and Lugansk. Minsk Protocol, which was negotiated by France and Germany, gave the regions that had broken away special status in the Ukrainian government.
Moscow demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and refuse to join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims that it planned to take the two rebel territories by force.