For anyone wanting to understand Finland’s penchant towards joining the NATO, the following dates and the actions thereof should offer some- if not copious sums of- information:
April 11– Russia had clearly warned Finland as well as Sweden that their joining the NATO would adversely impact the concept of European Stability
April 13– The world was clearly told that the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin was deliberating whether joining NATO for real would be the ‘right’ move and if so, by when would a decision come to light?
April 26– It was further reported that there was no fixed date by when Finland would decide whether to join NATO (or not)
May 12– It is apparently clear that Finland can’t wait to join the NATO! And that, a suitable course of action would be taken ‘without any further delay.’
For starters, it is important to dwell into a context. Why do Finland and Sweden, desire joining NATO, after all? Whether you are a military expert, a Harvard academician or a member of the perpetually growing Niall Ferguson fanclub that only increases with each passing day, it’s important to take cognisance of the fact that both Sweden and Finland were clearly alarmed by the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
It’s an act that has sent shockwaves down the world, besides unfurling rambunctious theories that even suggest the Russian war against Ukraine is nothing but the start of the Third World War.
Now, mathematically speaking, even if you were to proceed towards Finland at a constant speed of 50 kmph, you can reach the land of Sauna and Rally racing in a little over seventeen hours.
So by that count, if you are a Finn, you are clearly in, anxiously speaking, for some tense nerves knowing what the aggressive streak of Russia can ultimately produce if you aren’t in lines with its theory on how to treat neighbouring countries- what else would you note?
Moreover, going by the fact that Russia had also threatened Finland (as also Sweden) with some form of ‘military technical response’ in the light of the country’s plans of joining NATO perhaps only made the Marin-led country tense.
Moving on, the very fact that both Finland and Sweden, technically speaking, fulfill the criteria of becoming a part of NATO (its membership), augurs well for their sense of safety at a time where Russia is playing the aggressor and as a course of its action, plunging Europe into a worrying territory.
Now all of that being said, in comes the big decision on May 12, which perhaps not many would’ve anticipated especially given the fact that Finland has been a key nordic neutral nation up to this point.
Finally, we are hearing news that both the Finnish President as well as the Prime Minister cannot wait any longer to join the NATO.
And where it stands at this point, a firm decision is expected in the next few days.
Clearly speaking, the decision, whether hugely anticipated or not, comes at a time where there’s a clear surge in NATO membership (following Ukraine being attacked by Russia).
Here’s some key insights that the BBC had to note as on May 12:
Finland shares a 1,300-km (810-mile) border with Russia. Until now, it has stayed out of Nato to avoid antagonising its eastern neighbour.
Finland will formally announce its decision on Sunday after it has been considered by parliament and other senior political figures.
Sweden has said it will announce a similar decision on the same day. Russia has threatened unspecified measures if the two governments abandon their long-standing policy of military non-alignment.
But Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said he expects the process of giving Sweden and Finland membership to happen “quite quickly”. Nato membership would strengthen Finland’s security,” it said. “As a member of Nato, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance. Finland must apply for Nato membership without delay.”
The above told, an opinion poll conducted as of the last week in Finland also suggested that no fewer than 76 per cent of the Finns were positive about their country’s move to become a part of the NATO, which it hadn’t been in all these years!
(watch this space for more Finland joining the NATO updates)