Finland will bring Baltic’s strongest army to NATO: “They didn’t sleep after the Cold War”

The most militarily powerful country north of the Baltic Sea will join the Atlantic Alliance. And it will do so with incredible speed. Probably The official decision will be made this Sunday. At the Madrid summit at the end of June, its entrance is staged. And finally, Sweden’s.

Finland has had an open debate over its security since the late 1980s. Before the invasion of Ukraine, only a quarter of the population wanted to join NATO. They believed they had found the balance to maximize their defense: a strong and modern army, good relations with neighboring Sweden and the United States, and a friendly trade agreement with Russia, explains EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA, a vehicle belonging to the same group. editorial group like this newspaper, Charly Salonius PasternakFinnish Defense expert from the Finnish Foreign Institute.

Vladimir Putin upset this balance. He managed to get a small but powerful country to do this to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO.and that it shares a great boundary with it.

On Thursday morning, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the country should apply for membership. The statement said, “Being a NATO member strengthens Finland’s security. As a NATO member, Finland also strengthens the Alliance as a whole. Finland should be a candidate for membership without delay.”

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (right) and Prime Minister Sanna Marin. EP

The official decision on membership security and foreign policy council bringing together the head of state, the prime minister and various ministers.

According to Salonius-Pasternak, they will make it official this Sunday and Parliament will approve it next week, but it’s just a non-binding procedure. “Participation in NATO will definitely happen. There is no need for a referendum and according to polls, the support is 70-80%. A procedural vote will be held in parliament and 180-185 positive votes are expected from 200 seats“The process has been so fast, six months ago no one could have said we and Sweden would get to where we are,” he says.

A strong air and naval force

A potential new member of the North Atlantic defense organization does not bring any Army into the defense club. “It will be the first or second country in Europe” US F-35 fighter jets (It has a procurement program of 64 units) and a modern Navy with a strong corvette program to protect the waters of the Baltic Sea,” he explains. Martin HurtEstonian ICDS researcher.

In terms of the number of soldiers, it is the largest among the democracies in the region. 280,000 spares”adds this expert in the defense of the Scandinavian and Baltic states and NATO.

After the cold war, Finland “did not relax and thought that everything was peace and happiness, understanding and business with Moscow”, explains this Estonian, to whom the “big brother” of the Baltic-washed countries personally assured. it can at any time help its native Estonia, or also Latvia and Lithuania, which border Russia.

Finland shares a large land border with Russia, A border vertical of 1,340 kilometers with the alliance country. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania share the second part of their northern border with Russia for another 738 kilometers. One of the most vulnerable points of the European allied countries, the Suwalki corridor, a narrow passage connecting the three of them with Poland, is tucked into Russian territory. Although Finland has no land border with these three Baltic states, there is only 90 kilometers of sea between them.

Hurt cites Finland as a counter-example to Sweden. Stockholm embarks on the path of modernization more than a decade left for his army to rise to this status relatively recently.

Sweden is expected to make a similar announcement to Finn next week. “It is in sync with Finland in this regard.and Stockholm are expected to present their candidacy on Monday, when they will hold a political debate in Parliament: Government [de coalición de centro-derecha] “More than 50% of the votes are already guaranteed, but the most important politicians of the Social Democratic opposition have already said they will support it,” he said.

Another NATO country on the border with Russia

Getting into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is relatively easy for any European country. According to Article 10 of the 1959 Treaty, the parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any European State that is “in favor of the development of the principles” of NATO. It’s something Finland and Sweden do a lot.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Finland’s decision. His nomination “will be warmly welcomed at NATO and the process will be smooth and fast.”

“The process is essentially declarative as long as there is consensus. To prevent this, one of the members has to say no, but even Hungary doesn’t seem to do it,” he explains to this newspaper. Pedro Vilanova, senior associate researcher at CIDOB. “Finland and Sweden will come together and will probably be staged at the Madrid summit. [el 29 y 30 de junio]. It will be fluent as in Montenegro,” he said.

Finland is a country of 5.5 million inhabitants.. It was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1939.. It was previously a Russian province from 1809 to 1917. It was subjected to mandatory neutrality by Moscow during the Cold War. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he joined the European Union (EU) and NATO’s Partnership for Peace.

waiting for russian reply

Putin said it was a red line for Ukraine not to join NATO so that it would not be another country in the Alliance. She didn’t want broth and now she has two cups.”, concludes Vilanova.

Russia immediately reacted to the Helsinki announcement. “It is definitely a threat.Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said. “NATO’s enlargement and the Alliance’s approach to our borders do not make the world or our continent a more stable and safe place.”

In the statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry acted more harshly. “Russia will have to take both military-technical and other intervention measures to counter the emerging threats to its national security,” he said. The term military-technical measures is the term Putin used before his invasion of Ukraine.

Source: Informacion


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