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Crucial NATO decisions expected in Finland, Sweden this week

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By KARL RITTER

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If this goes through, then NATO greatly increases its border with Russia. Was this Putin’s plan?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It would be great news for the free world if Finland decides to join . Same for Sweden. And a huge political defeat for Putin.

The Russians FEAR the Finns. With good reason.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Finland would give Russia a pounding that they haven't experienced since WWII, if the Russians even dare to infringe against Finnish sovereignty.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

UChosePoorlyToday  07:33 am JST

If this goes through, then NATO greatly increases its border with Russia. Was this Putin’s plan?

Vlad scrood the pooch on this one big time.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

If this goes through, then NATO....

...would have signed the death and destruction certificates for Sweden and Finland.

Seriously, not just Putin, your average Russian is going to think 'hey, what an opportunity for Russian to create an itch NATO can't scratch'.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Sh1mon - You think Russia will invade Finland and Sweden if they join NATO?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

They don't have to invade, but they will have an excuse to destabilize and wreck havoc.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

What a great nation

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Of course, we can also destabilize and wreak havoc as well! So, tread lightly, Russia!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

They don't have to invade, but they will have an excuse to destabilize and wreck havoc

What are you saying? What can Russia do except hack websites and make a lot of threatening noises on their side of the border. Finland surprisingly has one of the largest land armies in Europe, larger than those of France or UK, along with a capable air force. They are replacing their F/A-18s with F-35As too. Finland is highly educated and protective of their democracy.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

There are signs that Russia already has increased its focus on Sweden and Finland, with several airspace violations by Russian military aircraft reported in recent weeks and an apparent campaign in Moscow with posters depicting famous Swedes as Nazi sympathizers. Putin used similar tactics against Ukraine’s leaders before launching what the Kremlin called its “special military operation.”

They’ve already started.

They don't have to invade, but they will have an excuse to destabilize and wreck havoc.

”we started this thing in Ukraine that has forced you to increase your defensive capability and allegiances and it’s your fault”

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Of course, we can also destabilize and wreak havoc as well! So, tread lightly, Russia!

LOL, seriously? 'we' won't even intervene to save women children, ie a humanitarian corridor. The west, the free nations have lost even that simplest of mandate, saving innocent lives.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

LOL, seriously? 'we' won't even intervene to save women children, ie a humanitarian corridor. The west, the free nations have lost even that simplest of mandate, saving innocent lives.

Has Russia attacked a NATO member yet?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Neither nation sought to join NATO until Poo tin invaded Ukraine, now both are realising the security situation has changed fundamentally and as such now may well join. The very opposite of what Poo tin claimed he sought yet has brought about by his Ill judged actions.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The US is the decider

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Does Finland really want to join an organization that is accused of war crimes and illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and risk nuclear ahilination by a country with 36000 nuclear warheads, S-550 missile defense and supersonic missile technology?

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Looks like they do, Rodney.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Mad Vlad will be shaking even more than usual when Finland and Sweden join NATO.

Fascist Russian has brought all this on themselves.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

@Rodney: The real question is, why do they think this is a lesser risk than not joining NATO?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Rodney - based on what they have seen what Russia has done to non-NATO Ukraine, they may feel that there is safety in numbers. You seem surprised that nations are wary of Russia. Are you?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Good news for US hegemony, bad news for the rest of the world.

Hopefully cooler heads prevail, I would think that they both would prefer to keep positive relations with their neighbors as much as possible, but some people seem absolutely desperate for a world war. Definitely not too late for their leadership to take the safe route.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Definitely not too late for their leadership to take the safe route.

The Finns are taking the safe route. Russia will not risk attacking a NATO member . By comparison everyone sees that Russia will attack a non-NATO member like Ukraine.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The Finns are taking the safe route. 

Joining an anti-Russian alliance when you border Russia isn't the safe route, it is just inviting disaster. The safe route would be doing the exact thing that could have saved countless Ukranian lives: a pledge of neutrality. It's the lowest bar anyone could be asked. Nobody is asking them to be the next Belarus. This is exactly the type of thing that gets us into a world war.

After having been lied to constantly by NATO since its inception, I am not surprised Russia wants the barest minimum of assurances.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

and risk nuclear ahilination by a country with 36000 nuclear warheads, S-550 missile defense and supersonic missile technology?

oh dear doesnt even bother to research what youre blabbering about, during the peak of the cold war Russia had about 30000 nukes, today its around 6000, did you even know that ICBMs are actually hypersonic!?. alomost every missile other than cruise missiles are supersonic or hypersonic even without the US, UK and France have around 600 nukes, more than enough for ever major Russian city or town. none of Russias defence missile systems can knock out ICBMs.

do you think Putin is stupid enough to even use nukes, it would be mutually assured destruction, those that survive will be left with a radioactive wasteland. Looks like Finland will join NATO, not a thing the Putins USSR can do about it

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Add - Russia doesn’t get to tell other nations who they can ally with. Who do they think they are? Do other nations get to tell Russia who they can ally with? Why the double standard when it comes to Russia?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The peaceful Fins and Swedes know who the bad bully is. Only the dictators of unhappy countries are running to Moscow to kiss Putin’s hand.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sh1mon M4sadaToday  08:17 am JST

They don't have to invade, but they will have an excuse to destabilize and wreck havoc.

Yes because that tactic has worked out really well for them so far on a non-NATO member hasn't it.....

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Why the double standard when it comes to Russia?

Not really a double standard, if you recall things like the Cuban Missile Crisis, or even the current fervor about the Solomon Islands. Russia is not some benevolent entity out to make the world a better place, they are acting in their self-interest, but there's precedent too.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

It is interesting to note, however, that the vast majority of people fleeing are mostly going one way but not the other way. It speaks volumes about where people prefer to live, doesn't it?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

based on what they have seen what Russia has done to non-NATO Ukraine, they may feel that there is safety in numbers.

Russia has no desire to invade EU. Not a single shot has been fired into Europe even though they send weapons and trainers to attack Russian military operations to protect Donbass. If an unstable corrupt country like Ukraine joined NATO or EU, WW3 would be very probable. I don’t want that thank you.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

@stormcrow. Average wage in Ukraine is $765. Minus bribes maybe $700. Germany $4329. Before the war it is hard to work visas. Not only do now get work visas, but living and housing benefits about $765. So they go west.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Add - Cuban Missile Crisis was a while ago, and as for the Solomons, I am not opposed to what China is doing. Countries can ally with whomever they want. Otherwise, they aren't sovereign, are they?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Rodney - great, I am glad that Russia hasn't fired a shot at the EU or NATO. Let's keep it that way. You can see why NATO membership is attractive, can't you? You don't get your country destroyed.

I hope our alliance with Ukraine gets deeper and that they integrate the best they can into Europe given the circumstances.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

living and housing benefits about $765. So they go west

I think you're overlooking the overwhelmingly major reason Ukrainians are tending to 'go west' these days, ie their neighbour to the east trying very hard to kill them and destroy their country.

Bombs raining down on you and flattening your home does tend to put financial considerations on the back burner.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Traditionally, Sweden has been a strong voice for peace and disarmament.

I hope this isn't affected should they choose to join NATO. It plays an important role in many countries around the world, monitoring and supervising various ceasefires and peace agreements.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Add - Cuban Missile Crisis was a while ago, and as for the Solomons, I am not opposed to what China is doing. Countries can ally with whomever they want. Otherwise, they aren't sovereign, are they?

Fair, appreciate the consistency then. There are a lot of folks who have a very different take than that solely because China is involved and they don't like them. I can't object to someone who is consistent across the board, even if I may disagree with them here or there.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Add, the Solomons as a sovereign state can choose who they ally with but the more pertinent question is who in the islands will benefit from this change, the people who will now be entrapped in Chinas debt web, paying off loans they can not afford or the leadership elite who will prosper on the inflow of that debt?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ben Wallace told us recently that the Russian military are utterly useless, their equipment is third rate and aging, their command and control system is non-existent, their fighter jets can't navigate properly, their tanks are death traps, and their troops are mutinous, and we hear Ukraine is planning to take back all the land invaded plus Crimea and all of Donbass.

At the same time we hear Russia is the greatest threat to the world since Hitler and we must double our defence spending and enrol even more countries into NATO.

Does anyone else smell the BS?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Does Finland really want to join an organization that is accused of war crimes and illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan

The more pressing question Finland and Sweden have is “Do they want to risk ending up like Ukraine if they DON’T join NATO?

Ultimately, if this war was meant to prevent more NATO nations from popping up on Russia’s borders, Vlad grossly miscalculated. Say what you will about Uncle Sam, but one statistic is in the forefront of Sweden and Finland’s minds, and that stat is “The number of NATO nations attacked by a foreign power”. And that number is zero. That’s goes for ANY country covered by a collective security agreement with the US.

If Russia is having this much trouble with just Ukraine, the fact is, it would not survive a war with NATO. It just wouldn’t. It’s clear that Russia is incapable of scoring a decisive victory in a conventional war and there wouldn’t be two bricks left stacked if a war with NATO turned nuclear. NATO nations would be horrifically damaged: I don’t think there’s be a living thing left in Russia at all.

Russia was hoping they’d be able to role into Ukraine unopposed like they did in Crimea. But the world has changed since 2014. The government in Ukraine is actually willing to fight now. What’s more, Russia was counting on the international community to cave to petro-extortion. And it didn’t. Putin’s entire strategy was reliant on the rest of the world blinking first and that has backfired to the tune of well over 10,000 dead and climbing. Even China, the one country Vlad was sure would come to their rescue has paid lip service and not much else. They know they stand to lose far more than they could ever gain by angering the US.

The US has even taken the unprecedented step of extending NATO protection to Finland and Sweden during the application process, rather than requiring they be fully accepted members first. It’s the US almost daring Russia to try something, which they most certainly won’t.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Russia has no desire to invade EU. Not a single shot has been fired into Europe even though they send weapons and trainers to attack Russian military operations to protect Donbass.

Last time I checked Ukraine is part of Europe. Russia has fired a lot of ordnance into Europe. Just as Russian propaganda claimed Ukraine is not a legitimate country, Russian propaganda is also claiming EU and NATO member nations Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are not legitimate countries, laying the ideological groundwork to invade them too. The Russians also threatened to attack EU ascension candidate Bosnia if they move to join NATO.

My question is how someone who so stridently opposes Covid-19 requirements due to what you call their suppression of individual freedom simultaneously so stridently support such a repressive dictatorship like Russia. It makes one wonder if you chose your positions just to stir the pot and not out of any strongly held convictions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At the same time we hear Russia is the greatest threat to the world since Hitler and we must double our defence spending and enrol even more countries into NATO.

Does anyone else smell the BS?

Invading Ukraine is not BS. The Russians have demonstrated a willingness to attack a neighbor unprovoked. We have seen Russia use mercenaries to fight proxy wars abroad. We know Russia is willing to use cyber criminals to place ransomware on western firms and in this manner steal their money and intellectual property. The west worries the Russians could disrupt primary public services, major industries and the financial system via the internet. We have seen the level of barbarity the Russians are willing to stoop to. It seems in Ukraine their primary targets aren't military but rather hospitals, schools, shopping malls and housing. Russia may have a second rate conventional military force but they have a lot of nuclear weapons and a leader nobody trusts not to use them against other nations with or without a threat. I have no doubt NATO would have moved to defend Ukraine if Russia was not a nuclear power, and equally sure Russia would have never risked invading Ukraine if it wasn't so well armed with nuclear weapons. Russia has figured out they can invade neighbors and threaten nuclear attack if anyone intervenes, and that friends is dangerous indeed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

we hear Russia is the greatest threat to the world since Hitler and we must double our defence spending and enrol even more countries into NATO.

Does anyone else smell the BS?

How is the comparison incorrect? Educate us son.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good post, RF

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ben Wallace told us recently that the Russian military are utterly useless, their equipment is third rate and aging, their command and control system is non-existent, their fighter jets can't navigate properly, their tanks are death traps, and their troops are mutinous, and we hear Ukraine is planning to take back all the land invaded plus Crimea and all of Donbass. 

At the same time we hear Russia is the greatest threat to the world since Hitler and we must double our defence spending and enrol even more countries into NATO. 

Does anyone else smell the BS?

As we are seeing, a piece of sh-t military can still cause destruction and mass civilian casualties, even if they are incapable of actually scoring military victory.

Finland and Sweden aren’t concerned about whether or not they are capable of defeating Russia. Experience is showing that they almost certainly could. It’s the fact that they’d still incur a significant amount of damage in the process that has them clambering to join NATO. Ukraine is destroying Russian armor by the thousands using hastily trained volunteers and conscripts. Imagine how quickly this ‘invasion’ would be over and how much suffering they’d be spared if they had access to A-10s and Apache gunships, as well as masses of far more modern tanks.

Prior to the invasion of Ukraine, support for joining NATO in Sweden stood at about 30%. That number has now skyrocketed to over 70% and for very understandable reasons.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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