Russia-Ukraine conflict; What to fear for Nordic countries

The full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia has passed over almost 3 weeks and the conflict is still going on. So far, many countries have come forward to raise their voice against Russia breaking the silence as they believe that if the invasion continues like this, it could affect the global economy more badly. 

Some governments have taken u-turns in their decision upon the Russia-Ukraine conflict and countries that had deep economic ties with Russia tightened severe ties more than a month ago, which no one took seriously. However, the future of the three Nordic countries- Norway, Sweden, and Finland is now a matter of concern. The fate of these three countries attracted attention because of the crisis in Ukraine and the unique relationship between Europe and Russia.

Both three of the Nordic countries are members of the European Schengen area, but each has its own decisions about the membership in EU and NATO. Norway is a NATO member but not a member of the European Union. On the hand, Finland and Sweden are members of the EU but NATO members. The three of the countries do not make a rough approach with Russia and were safe so far. As these countries are part of the EU’s Schengen area, borderless travel between the three countries will be easier. 

Questions have been raised by many envoys and officials How can these countries adopt a no-conflict policy when sharing open territory simultaneously with Russia? Many have also raised their concerns about who will be the next prey to Russia after Ukraine. Experts believe that because of the open borders between the three, any compromise on the Finnish border would “impact” the peninsula.

“The greatest shock to Europeans over the Nordic response has been the abrupt breakdown of the long-held position (s) between Finland and Sweden not to export arms to war zones and the shipment of goods to Ukraine,” one of the European defense officials said. 

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Finland, the nearest country to Russia, believes that joining as a member of NATO would pave the way to deteriorate the relationship with Russia, but on the other hand, Finland wants to join in NATO to have much more strong support of military and to get a safer place from Russia’s aggressive behavior. While joining NATO would be a major statement, there is an argument to be made that it makes little difference in a world where there is such universal revulsion at Putin’s actions.  

However, there is no such vulnerability for nordic countries with Putin’s Ukraine invasion at present, and these countries are taking neutral stands over the ongoing crisis now.