Finland and Sweden are expected to apply for NATO membership in the coming days in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Finland and Sweden, two historically non-aligned Nordic nations, are expected to abandon their historic neutrality and apply for NATO membership in the coming days in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a major shake-up of European politics.
- On Saturday, Finland’s president Sauli Niinisto informed Vladimir Putin personally of his decision to join the Western defensive alliance after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine changed his nation’s security environment. Niinisto told Putin, “You caused this. Look at the mirror.”
- Finland has the longest shared border with Russia of any NATO member. NATO’s expansion would leave Russia surrounded by NATO members in the Baltic and Arctic Seas. Putin called Finland’s bid a “mistake” and promised a “military-technical response.”
- NATO accession requires the unanimous support of all NATO members. US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have urged Sweden and Finland to join the pact.
- Johnson signed mutual security agreements with Sweden and Finland to protect them during the application process. Britain agreed to defend both nations in the event of a Russian attack.
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan initially said his country was “not favorable” towards NATO expansion.
- On Saturday, however, Erdogan’s top foreign policy advisor clarified Turkey was not “closing the door” on NATO expansion provided Sweden and Finland address Turkey’s concerns about both nation’s Kurdish populations.
- The New York Times covered Russia’s decision to suspend electricity exports to Finland, an apparent act of retaliation for Finland’s decision to join NATO.
- The Washington Post reported Russia plans a response if NATO moves nuclear arms near its borders in the Baltic region should Finland and Sweden join the alliance.
- CNN reported a delegation of Senate Republicans led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell flew to Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. McConnell’s visit comes a few weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the Ukrainian capital.
- Fox News reported Russia plans to hold a sham vote in occupied Kherson. Moscow plans to conduct a “rigged” election to justify annexing the southern Ukrainian region, according to the UK government.
- The Wall Street Journal reported Ukraine’s counteroffensive continues in the Donbas region. Ukraine retook Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, and are aiming to disrupt Russian supply lines in the enemy-occupied east.
- National Review visited the Baltic frontier to investigate how Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have responded to Russian aggression and life in the former Soviet states in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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© Dominic Moore, 2022