What do you need to know about the potential NATO members of Finland and Sweden?
Outside of military alliances for decades, Finland on Sunday announced its candidacy for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Sweden may follow suit due to concern over Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
For decades, most Swedes and Finns have joined forces with a long policy of military non-alignment. But the Ukrainian invasion on February 24 marked a turning point, especially for Finland, which shares a nearly 1,300-kilometer border with Russia.
Although support for integration has been 20% to 30% for twenty years, recent polls suggest that 70% of Finns and 50% of Swedes now support membership. In both countries, many parties are changing their position on this issue or are in the process of doing so.
In the Finnish parliament, the majority river is flowing in favor of the members. In Sweden, the Social Democrats have historically opposed joining NATO, with a green light this Sunday paving the way for the country’s candidacy.
- Neutrality and randomness
Ceded to Russia by Sweden in 1809. The Finland During the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 it declared its independence from Russia. Invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939, the country resisted within three months of the “Winter War”. After the conflict resumed in 1941, Finland was forced into a ceasefire. Finnish leaders agree to stay away from Western military cooperation in the form of historic neutrality “Finlandization”.
The country escapes the Soviet Union’s satellite state rankings, but remains under Moscow’s eyes on its foreign and military policy. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Finland joined the European Union (1995) and NATO’s Peace Alliance, but was not officially militarized.
The Sweden, Since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, especially during World War II, it has maintained a policy of official neutrality for nearly two centuries. If it had participated in military operations in Afghanistan or more recently in Mali, it would not have been involved in the war since the conflict with Norway in 1814.
In the 1990s, its policy of neutrality was amended to include military mobilization “Operational Purpose” Neutrality during war.
- Military: Massive reserves in Finland, reinvestment in Sweden
During the Cold War, Sweden and Finland devoted significant resources (4% to 5% of their GDP) to their forces as a result of the absence of military allies. Both reduced their quotas as the Soviet threat disappeared, but Finland made extensive use of military service and reservations.
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