Finland and Sweden to Join NATO


Because of the recent Ukrainian conflict, support for Finland and Sweden to join NATO has increased massively; read further to learn more.

As the Russo-Ukrainian War continues, its effects have rippled across the rest of Europe. Because of Russia’s aggressive actions, many other nearby nations have become concerned about their own national security. Two such examples include Finland and Sweden, who have nervously existed beside the nuclear power for over a century.

Due to recent events, the citizens of the aforementioned countries have become in favor of joining NATO; an international military alliance. These events show how neutral countries are shifting away from Russia due to President Putin’s egregious actions, and this might prove the dictator’s downfall.

NATO, which stands for The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a military alliance between many pro-democracy countries in the northern hemisphere. According to NATO themselves, their goal is to protect their Allies’ freedom and security through military and political means. NATO continues to be the principal security instrument of the transatlantic community and expression of common democratic values, and opposes autocracies like Russia. The U.S., Canada, and the vast majority of Europe are members of the organization. However, historically neutral countries on the continent, such as Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland, have not yet joined, but this has recently changed. Because of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the two Nordic states are feeling precarious about their neighbor, and are feeling it might be in their best interest to join the alliance.

According to recent polling done by Alistair Shepherd from Aberystwyth University, after recent events in Ukraine, 68 percent of Finns are in favor of joining NATO, and a little over 50 percent of Swedes are as well. However, 62 percent of Swedish people wish to join if Finland does so first.

These numbers alone demonstrate how much the mentality in Scandinavia has changed in recent months. This also shows that once-neutral countries are in fact picking sides in the recent conflict. Switzerland, by far the country most-renowned for its impartiality in the entire world, has recently joined the majority of Europe in sanctioning Russia. This breaks a 500 year tradition of neutrality, and exhibits how even the most uninvolved democracies are quickly shifting away from the world’s authoritarian states.

However, nothing is final yet, and it might be a little bit longer before anything is set in stone. According to Thomas O. Falk, a journalist for Al-Jazeera, Finland will be making the decision on joining in the coming weeks while Sweden is cautiously waiting until an election in the summer.

While both Nordic countries have not necessarily made anything official, the overwhelming support for them to join NATO indicates that it is very likely to occur. And while Russia might make threats, the moment the union is made official, Putin cannot do anything to either Finland or Sweden without invoking the wrath of the rest of NATO, which includes the U.S, Great Britain, and France, who are all nuclear powers. This may be reminiscent of the Cold War, in which countries across the world were coerced into picking sides between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. as tension continually increased and decreased across the globe for decades. However, according to many countries, Russia’s actions in Ukraine are inexcusable and actions must be taken.

Because of the recent conflict in Europe, Sweden and Finland are deciding to shift towards organizations like NATO for their own safety and to also promote democracy. In the coming months, look to see what will happen to both the Nordic nations and the rest of Europe as most of the world hopes for an end to the fighting in Ukraine.