Historic shift…Finland and Sweden confirm intention to join NATO

Amidst the threats from the neighboring country Russia, Finland and Sweden confirmed their plans to be the members of North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) also called the North Atlantic Alliance. With this decision, a historic Nordic policy shift is being witnessed in parts of Europe. When NATO confirms both Scandinavian countries’ applications, then the long fight or conflict of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will get impacted and a new Europe map will be formed. 

In Finland, President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the announcement of the historic policy shift from the country’s traditional neutrality at a joint news conference. In Sweden, the governing Social Democrats said they backed joining the Western security alliance, paving the way for the country to apply.

The announcement by Sweden comes from the neighboring country Finland’s decision to join  NATO to receive more security guards to refrain from a fight with Russia. On the other hand, the move by both the countries has become a setback for Russia, and Russia has threatened Finland over the move. Russia sees Nato as a security threat and has warned of “consequences”.

The governments of the two countries will present their proposals on May 16 in their respective parliaments, leaving behind decades of military divisions.  Both countries will submit a joint membership application to the 30-member alliance as soon as the decisions are ratified. “Today, we, the president and the government’s foreign policy committee, have together decided that Finland will apply for NATO membership,” Finland’s President Niinistö told reporters. However, Turkey has raised objections and has threatened to veto the bids. 

Read Also: Finland’s NATO membership; Fear arises as Russia threats to retaliate

Finland’s prime minister, Sanna Marin, said she hoped parliament would confirm the decision “in the coming days”, adding that as a member of NATO, Finland would help reinforce not just the 30-member, US-led defensive alliance but also “strengthen the EU, whose voice in Nato can become stronger”.

Sweden said the Social Democrats in Sweden would work for membership, with the support of the public and most opposition parties. The formal application is likely to be filed within days. “As for the Social Democrats, it is clear that the military split has served Sweden well, but our conclusion is that it will not serve us well in the future,” Sweden PM Magdalena Andersson said.