Nato Finland Sweden Explainer
FILE - Finland's President Sauli Niinisto makes a point during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Finland appears on the cusp of joining NATO. Sweden could follow suit. By year’s end, they could stand among the alliance’s ranks. Russia’s war in Ukraine has provoked a public about face on membership in the two Nordic countries. They are already NATO’s closest partners, but should Russia respond to their membership moves they might soon need the organization’s military support. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool, File)
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Finland's leaders call for NATO membership 'without delay'

140 Comments
By JARI TANNER

Finland’s leaders said Thursday they’re in favor of rapidly applying for NATO membership, paving the way for a historic expansion of the alliance that could deal a serious blow to Russia as its military struggles with its war in Ukraine.

The annoucement by President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin means that Finland is all but certain to join the Western military alliance, though a few steps remain before the application process can begin. Neighboring Sweden is expected to decide on seeking NATO membership in coming days.

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance,” Niinisto and Marin said in a joint statement.

“Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay," they said. "We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

Russia reacted to the development with a warning. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Finland joining NATO would “inflict serious damage to Russian-Finnish relations as well as stability and security in Northern Europe."

“Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps of military-technical and other characteristics in order to counter the emerging threats to its national security," the ministry said.

“History will determine why Finland needed to turn its territory into a bulwark of military face-off with Russia while losing independence in making its own decisions,” it added.

Before the ministry issued its statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Finland’s decision wouldn’t help stability and security in Europe. Peskov said Russia’s response would depend on NATO’s moves to expand its infrastructure closer to Russian borders.

Finland has the longest border with Russia out of all the European Union’s 27 members.

Previously, the Kremlin had warned of “military and political repercussions” if Sweden and Finland decided to become a NATO member. Should they seek to join the alliance, there would be an interim period lasting from when the applications are submitted until ratification by lawmakers in all 30 existing member nations.

In NATO member Estonia, which also borders Russia, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas tweeted that “history being made by our northern neighbors.” She pledged to support “a rapid accession process” for Finland into NATO.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde tweeted that Finland’s announcement gave an “important message.”

Finland's announcement came a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited both Finland and Sweden to sign a military cooperation agreement.

The UK pledged Wednesday to come to the aid of Sweden and Finland if the two Nordic nations came under attack.

During a joint news conference with Johnson in Helsinki this week, Niinisto said Moscow could only blame itself should his nation of 5.5 million people become a NATO member.

“You (Russia) caused this. Look in the mirror,” the Finnish head of state said Wednesday.

On Thursday, Niinisto tweeted that he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about Finland's firm support for Ukraine and the country's intention to join NATO. Niinisto said Zelenskyy “expressed his full support for it."

In 2017, Sweden and Finland joined the British-led Joint Expeditionary Force, which is designed to be more flexible and respond more quickly than the larger NATO alliance. The force uses NATO standards and doctrine so it can operate in conjunction with the alliance, the United Nations or other multinational coalitions.

Fully operational since 2018, the force has held a number of exercises both independently and in cooperation with NATO.

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to reconsider their traditions of military nonalignment and to contemplate joining NATO itself. Public opinion in the two countries quickly started to shift toward favoring membership, first in Finland and a bit later in Sweden, after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The latest opinion poll conducted by Finnish public broadcaster YLE showed earlier this week that 76% of Finns are in favor of joining NATO, a big change from earlier years when only 20-30% of respondents favored such military alignment.

Speaking to European Union lawmakers Thursday as Niinisto and Marin made their announcement, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said that Russia’s unpredictable behavior was a serious concern for Finland. He cited Moscow’s readiness to wage “high-risk operations” that could lead to many casualties, including among Russians.

Should Finland become a NATO member, it would represent the biggest change in the Nordic country's defense and security policy since World War II, when it fought against the Soviet Union.

During the Cold War, Finland stayed away from NATO to avoid provoking the Soviet Union, instead opting to remain a neutral buffer between the East and the West while maintaining good relations with Moscow and also with the United States.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the military alliance would welcome Finland and Sweden — both of which have strong, modern militaries — with open arms and that he expects the accession process to be speedy and smooth.

NATO officials say the Nordic duo's accession process could be done “in a couple of weeks.” The most time consuming part of the procedure – ratification of the country’s protocol by the existing NATO members – could be completed in less time than the four or so months it took West Germany, Turkey and Greece to join in the 1950s, when there were only 12 members to ratify their applications.

“These are not normal times,” one NATO official said this week, discussing the possible applications of Finland and Sweden. The official was briefing reporters about the accession process on condition that he not be named as no application has been made by the two countries.

Lorne Cook in Brussels, and Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


140 Comments
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Any one noticed how nervous he is? A trembling voice says he's been coerced, like Ukraine was coerced into not accepting negotiation before the invasion.

Looks to me like it's all a ploy to shield Germany from Putin's de-nazification end game. Poland tested it (Migs via Ramstein), Germany's disagreement confirms it.

Swedes and Fins must oppose this move before they suffer like Ukrainians.

-27 ( +7 / -34 )

Better put those wind turbines up quick!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

One more glaring example of this massive miscalculation by Putin....

Every one of the objectives he wanted to achieve, the exact opposite has occurred...NATO is reinvigorated, larger, and stronger....Ukraine not only withstood the invasion but is now counter-attacking...the Russian economy is in a free-fall....and his military has been proven to be incompetent...

The symbol of this utter disaster will no doubt be the proud Russian flagship, named after its capitol...now a rusting hulk at the bottom of the Black Sea...

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Sh1mon M4sada

Any one noticed how nervous he is?

No.

A trembling voice says he's been coerced, like Ukraine was coerced into not accepting negotiation before the invasion.

I think you are reading too much into it.

Looks to me like it's all a ploy to shield Germany from Putin's de-nazification end game. Poland tested it (Migs via Ramstein), Germany's disagreement confirms it.

Putin doesn't have a denazification end-game. That's only a pretext for Invading Ukraine.

Swedes and Fins must oppose this move before they suffer like Ukrainians.

Yeah, right! We've seen Putin's hopeless armey and it would be no match to Finland's smaller but much better equipped army, let alone NATO's forces.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Sh1mon - Do you really think Russia will invade Finland or Sweden? I doubt he would, especially since they are under the NATO umbrella now.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Without delay, i.e. before the general public can have any say in the matter.

-18 ( +5 / -23 )

Ingvar - it sounds like the general public is in favor, but if not, then they will make their voices know in the next election. This is how democracies work.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Ukraine was coerced into not accepting negotiation before the invasion.

You don't negotiate with Putin, you do what he says or else!!! The only thing Putin understands is power! It's the law of the jungle!!!

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Hopefully the NATO homepage is working so Finland can apply and pay by credit card quickly.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Without delay, i.e. before the general public can have any say in the matter.

Like the general public would have any say in whether Putin decided to invade. It's the duty of the leaders to keep the people safe. If the people don't like how they do it, they can replace them at the next election.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Finland only has ,24,000 Troops,little bigger than Tokyo police Department

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Ukraine not only withstood the invasion but is now counter-attacking...the Russian economy is in a free-fall

NATO authored political erotica. On the military front, Kherson oblast is about to officially become part of Russia and Ukraine is shoveling conscripts into Donbass to be slaughtered and the Russians are still moving forward with minimal civilian causalities. They don't want to kill soon to be Russian citizens.

On the economic front, I think even the most optimistic couldn't have guessed the Russian economy would hold up so well while the collective West is rapidly falling into an economic black-hole.

-20 ( +3 / -23 )

Cleo,the US public get no protection from NATO,the biggest contributer in money and manpower,we do have a standing army to protect the US

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Like the general public would have any say in whether Putin decided to invade.

Maybe because the general public knows that if Finland doesn't join NATO, there is zero chance of a Russian invasion. If Finland joins NATO, there are no guarantees about anything. Will the Russians do nothing? Will they obliterate Finland? Will they invade Finland? Who knows? The only certainty is that the general public knows joining NATO will have a severely detrimental effect on the security of Finland.

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

Ingvar - I am sorry you don't have confidence in Finnish democracy. Why is that?

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Senior Putin adviser tells Nato to back off or risk 'full blown nuclear war'

https://news.yahoo.com/putin-adviser-nato-full-blown-nuclear-war-russia-120420296.html

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@lincolnman Every one of the objectives he wanted to achieve, the exact opposite has occurred...

Yeah right, tell that to Ukrainian who lost families and homes.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Sh1mon - good point - the one thing that Russia has achieved so far to some extent has been death and destruction. Other than that, his more strategic efforts have been very poorly executed.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Yeah, right! We've seen Putin's hopeless armey and it would be no match to Finland's smaller but much better equipped army, let alone NATO's forces.

as hopeless as Putin's military is, he is still able to kill, main and wreck.

Finland's have you even googled it?

https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.php

It is ranked behind Belarus in 53rd place. Sigh...lots of koolaid being served up.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

NATO was created to counter the threat from the USSR. Putin proves today that the need for NATO is just as important as ever.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

This is how democracies work

Except the EU, and NATO is going further and further away from democratic values.

I bet Ukrainian had wished their leader didn't cave in to NATO and stayed neutral instead.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Sh1mon - I believe many people see it another way - join NATO and you will be safer. Russia most likely will not directly attack a NATO nation.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

The neutral Finland is a de facto NATO member as it has already cooperated closely with other NATO members on missions overseas like in Kosovo and Afghanistan. So technical and logistical issues are minimal. It's rather a clear political message to Russia.

Putin has justified the Ukraine war on the ground of securing buffer areas right next to NATO. Now he is losing one of the biggest ones (and close to St. Petersberg, the key city for Russia).

18 ( +18 / -0 )

YrralToday  07:54 am JST

Finland only has ,24,000 Troops,little bigger than Tokyo police Department

Finland has 280,000 troops in war time activation with 900,000 reserves.

Much bigger than the JSDF.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

If you not an American,you should not be do gung ho about sending American, over to defend Europe,you should be willing to pay your taxes and defend yourself,these were the same people complaining about the US, leaving Aghanistan,these deployment put a strain on service person family,being deployed years at a time,not seeing their family,US cannot solve every body problem

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Maybe because the general public knows that if Finland doesn't join NATO, there is zero chance of a Russian invasion. If Finland joins NATO, there are no guarantees about anything. Will the Russians do nothing? Will they obliterate Finland? Will they invade Finland? Who knows? The only certainty is that the general public knows joining NATO will have a severely detrimental effect on the security of Finland

You posted before that the majority of general public in Sweden and Finland are against joining NATO.

Could you finally provide a source for this? I’m pretty sure you can see that without it, it comes across as insincere. If you don’t see this, I assure you others do.

Thanks in advance

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Finland joining NATO, big mistake, huge.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

Hey NATO clowns, do you want to start third world war??..

-22 ( +2 / -24 )

@Avenger

NATO was created to counter the threat from Russia.

NATO has been threatening Russia since it's conception and didnt allow Ukraine to join.

Has Russia invaded a NATO member ?

Has NATO stopped the invasion of Ukraine ?

The aswer is NO !

NATO is the USA gang mentality !

-19 ( +4 / -23 )

when gov cant learn from mistakes in past it may end like this...FIN gov no difference.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Finland joining NATO, big mistake, huge.

Why is that, Andy?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Kyo wa - How has NATO threatened Russia? NATO didn't stop the invasion of Ukraine because unfortunately Ukraine is not a NATO member yet. Russia has never invaded a NATO nation.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Good decision. I see it has upset some posters here. I wonder why?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

AAL- strange, isn't it? AFAICT, the only one who should be upset at this news is Russia, and then only if they are intent on attacking a NATO nation, which I have been assured is not in their plans. Curious...

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Will he get free weapons and an aid package with membership?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

when gov cant learn from mistakes in past it may end like this...FIN gov no difference

What mistakes are you talking about here?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Po,they get a free NATO patch,that all

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

TokyoLivingToday  09:08 am JST

Hey NATO clowns, do you want to start third world war??..

No, Putin is. NATO isn't attacking any sovereign nations is it.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

America, Finland have less than ,22,000 ,under arms

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

This is more cannon fodder for USA. They get more Europeans to do their dirty work far away and act as collateral damage. Lemmini

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Could you finally provide a source for this? I’m pretty sure you can see that without it, it comes across as insincere. If you don’t see this, I assure you others do.

Your assurance was correct, as the lack of any sources does in fact come across as insincere to me, and it makes me suspect it’s an attempt at disinformation, which can only benefit those who are trying to fix the damage done to Russia’s reputation through from their war on Ukraine and murder of its citizens.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps of military-technical and other characteristics in order to counter the emerging threats to its national security," the ministry said.

Finland reversing its stance from a decade ago. We have seen what happens when Russia is tested.

JimizoToday  09:02 am JST

You posted before that the majority of general public in Sweden and Finland are against joining NATO. 

Could you finally provide a source for this? I’m pretty sure you can see that without it, it comes across as insincere. If you don’t see this, I assure you others do. 

Thanks in advance

Could you provide the link to this supposed comment? Otherwise, your allegation comes across as insincere. If you don't see this, I assure you others do.

Thanks in advance.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Kyo, nope russia hasn’t invaded a NATO country, goes to prove it’s an effective deterrent. Ukraine wasn’t a member and Poo tin invaded them.

Tokyoliving, the only one threatening to start WW3 is the kleptocratic dwarf in the kremlin.

Ingvar, sadly for you Poo tin has managed to overturn the public support for neutrality in Finland and Sweden, their democratic governments are reflecting the public mood.

As russias military is progressively chewed up in Ukraine China is watching and waiting until they are too weakened to be a threat and then they will either walk in and “liberate”Siberia, much of which was ripped away from China in the 19th century or russia will be forced to give them unlimited access to its resources for their economic support. Poo tin has finally brought down the russian empire.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Like i said if you were paying attention - the answer is NO Russia has never invaded NATO.

Finland and Sweden can do as they please .

If they think it will help them then thats their choice.

Personally i don't think it's necessary.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Without delay, i.e. before the general public can have any say in the matter.

Poll from just 3 days ago (May 9) of the Finnish general public's opinion on joining NATO:

76% support NATO membership

12% oppose NATO membership

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Hey NATO clowns, do you want to start third world war??..

Only the insane Russian mass murdering mob do not hesitate to do that.

Therefore it is good to see that the world stands up against the Russian aggressor and biggest threat of world peace!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

YrralToday  07:54 am JST

Finland only has ,24,000 Troops,little bigger than Tokyo police Department

It was during the winter war between Finland and the USSR and a Soviet general was moving with his army when he hears a whisper

"A Finnish soldier is better than 10 Russian soldiers"

Furious he sends out his best 10 men. Gunshots are heard but they do not return and he hears another whisper:

" A Finnish soldier is better than 100 Russians"

Enraged the general sends his next best 100 men with full armor support. Explosions, gunshots ravage the air. Nothing but a whisper returns :

"A Finn is better than 1000 Russians"

The general had it. He sends 1000 Soldiers with armor support, air support and the best equipment. There are gunshots, hard fights, a fire gets started, planes roar the sky and fall down. After some time, a gravely wounded Russian soldier returns.

"Sir, it's a trap."

"What do you mean a trap!?" The general responds.

"There's 2 of them!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Thanks, Vlad!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Sh1mon

I bet Ukrainian had wished their leader didn't cave into NATO and stayed neutral instead.

This comment makes no sense

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Prime Minister Sanna Marin!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

the general public knows that if Finland doesn't join NATO, there is zero chance of a Russian invasion

Ukraine didn't join NATO.

There is now a 100% ongoing russian invasion.

I think your premise is mistaken.

*Finnish public support for joining Nato was for years at around 20-25%. But since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it has shot up to a record high of 76%, according to the latest opinion poll. In Sweden, 57% of the population want to join, again far higher than before the war.*

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61397478

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Welcome to the Anti - Bullying Assiciation!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to reconsider their traditions of military nonalignment and to contemplate joining NATO itself. Public opinion in the two countries quickly started to shift toward favoring membership....

This is yet another miscalculation by Putin. Russia will be more and more isolated in coming years. Putin has demanded a respect but failing miserably because this KGB man does not know how to win respect except by bullying.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@ english aspyrgend

Yes that's what i said twice.

It sure as hell hasnt stopped the Ukraine invasion either has it !

But the why Ukraine wasn't accepted as a NATO member is the real question to ask yourself.

To some its obvious and to others they are oblivious and brainwashed buffoons.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

If Russia wasn't attacking neighbors, Finland and Sweden wouldn't be joining NATO.

Brilliant move Mr. Putin. Your threats are meaningless. They are like a 2-yr old yelling "no, no, no, no, no!" before being sent for a nap.

Ukraine didn't consider joining NATO until their northern neighbor invaded with completely false claims in 2014.

All the former USSR countries that aren't locked to Russia will try to join NATO now. Like a 12K domino topple. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ_p4U17TJQ

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Without delay, i.e. before the general public can have any say in the matter.

both countries citizens don’t want to join NATO or go to war. Opinion polls can be easily manipulated for political reasons. Most opinion polls in Japan have a survey of 1000-1500 respondents, to represent the opinions of 26,000,000 citizens.

my point is that to sign your country off to direct USA control needs the mandate of the citizens via a referendum.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

Kyo - Ukraine has never applied for NATO membership, even though it is an aspirational goal of theirs. Ukraine would have to apply before they can be accepted. I do hope Ukraine will be able to join someday sooner rather than later.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Rodney - why do you think you know what the Finns and Swedes want better than they do? Are you Finnish or Swedish?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Putin may have made the biggest screw up in human history. Can anyone think of a bigger screwup?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

the general public knows that if Finland doesn't join NATO, there is zero chance of a Russian invasion

Ukraine.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

What is the prime purpose of NATO,too kill Russian,not too drink Vodka with them

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Now, the question is what price would Finland and Sweden pay for aligning themselves with Russia's mortal enemy.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Now, the question is what price would Finland and Sweden pay for aligning themselves with Russia's mortal enemy.

The answer is: not as big a price as they would pay when Russia invaded them and stated committing war crimes in their countries like Russia is doing in Ukraine now.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Khaos - better safe than sorry! Russia has never invaded a NATO member.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@Strangerland

One of the root causes of the invasion of Ukraine, and the conflict in Georgia for that matter, is pledging to join NATO. If anything, this move is degrading Finland's security because now instead of a dangerous neutral neighbor, they'll have a dangerous hostile neighbor.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

@UChosePoorly

There is always a first, you know. And the possibility of a single NATO country attacking Russia or it's own alliance and dragging the whole world in a war is rising with each new member on the Russian border.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

One of the root causes of the invasion of Ukraine, and the conflict in Georgia for that matter, is pledging to join NATO.

Oh dear, you didn't realize that Ukraine, by not joining NATO, is currently having war crimes perpetuated upon them by Russia. Clearly Ukraine should have joined NATO sooner, and Russia and Finland would be absolutely delusional if they thought it wasn't essential now.

Russia invaded a foreign nation. That's on Russia. No one else. 100% Russia's fault. Anyone claiming otherwise is just trying to justify war crimes in Ukraine - aka Putin shills.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

There is always a first, you know. And the possibility of a single NATO country attacking Russia or it's own alliance and dragging the whole world in a war is rising with each new member on the Russian border.

The only people looking to invade Russia are the Ukrainians. And they should. Attack while Russia is busy.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Khaos - do you really think that any of Russia's neighbors are going to attack Russia?

Russia needs to be a little less paranoid. Just because they are always attacking neighbors doesn't mean that Finland or Estonia plans on attacking Russia anytime soon.

Yes, there could be a first, but there is safety in numbers. Russia is a bully and is a lot more likely to attack a non-aligned country than the soon-to-be 32 countries of NATO.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Opinion polls can be easily manipulated for political reasons.

At last you appear to see the light. Can you/will you apply that logic to the 'referenda' held in Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk?

What is the prime purpose of NATO,too kill Russian

If that were truly the prime purpose of NATO, russia would have disappeared long ago. The prime purpose of NATO is to prevent russians killing non-russians (and other russians that live outside russia).

12 ( +14 / -2 )

@UChosePoorly

It doesn't matter who attacks, and in time anything is possible. Finland has a history of successfully fighting against Russia, and it has lands that it had lost to Russia. If it is backed by a huge military alliance it becomes more likely that one day they decide to re-claim those lands.

Another point, is that compared to current NATO members on the Russian border, Finland and Sweden together have a very formidable military. So the situation is a drastic change.

Finally, NATO is not as solid as it appears. It's anyone's guess what Turkey would do if a conflict happens, for example. I think it's obvious that their alignment is very murky. The US may decide to sit it out if a conflict happens depending on their internal political situation, and the same is true for the other member states. Not long ago, even the US commitment to NATO was in question. This may happen again.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Ukraine has never applied for NATO membership, even though it is an aspirational goal of theirs.

No. The far right, extremely unpopular, NATO lackey coup regime in Ukraine had aspirations to join NATO. Of course they did. The majority of the population of Ukraine had/has no fear of Russia. Quite the contrary. As for the coup regime and it's Azov Battalion, Aidir Regiment, C14, Right-Sektor enforcers, they have literally everything they have to fear for.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

If that were truly the prime purpose of NATO, russia would have disappeared long ago.

Big words from NATO lickspittles. Sounds just like Hitler. How did this thinking work out for Hitler?

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

@UChosePooly

There are NATO countries that would never put themselves in danger for the sake of another NATO country. They are literally, only using NATO as a shield, and will not act to go and defend someone else.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

None of us knows the future, but I seriously doubt that Finland will be invading Russia to gain back their long lost territory. At any rate, NATO is a defensive alliance and members are not obligated to go to war for a member who would wage offensive war.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I seriously doubt that Finland will be invading Russia to gain back their long lost territory.

I agree. But if they were ever going to do it, they should do it now, when Russia is both weak, and already occupied with another war. This is prime time for anyone in the world with a grudge against Russia to attack them with little risk.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Maybe I can put this in a way that some of the pro-Putin posters can understand - After being antagonized by Russia, Sweden and Finland had no choice but to align with NATO. They were backed into a corner. Do I have that right?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@UChosePoorly

Do you believe the antagonization will become any less? I personally believe that the danger of conflict will rise instead.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

There are countries that would never put themselves in danger for the sake of another NATO country?

I see.

Who do you suspect/speculate/guess/hope(?) these countries are?

Give us at least something remotely tangible to go on here. You must admit, it doesn’t come across as sincere without it.

Give us country for a start and we’ll go with that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

*Give us one country

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Swedes and Fins must oppose this move before they suffer like Ukrainians.

most Swedes and Fins were against joining NATO. Putin invasion of Ukraine changed all that.

lol people thinking Putin will just walk into Finland unopposed, Finland military is far stronger than Ukraines, yet Putin cant even annex Ukraine. Putin caused this , does any sane person think Putin can take on all 31/32 members of NATO.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@Strangerland

There is no court, prison or police for 'bully' countries. There is no high authority that can punish countries for their behavior. It's a mix of laws of the jungle and trying to be civil. So, avoiding becoming a victim in the first place is more important than trying to punish such countries. Fail to realize that and "you get what you were asking for" as they say.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

. And the possibility of a single NATO country attacking Russia or it's own alliance and dragging the whole world in a war is rising with each new member on the Russian border.

somebody that doesnt even understand the charter, if a NATO member instigates an invasion or attacks another country then other NATO members are not obliged to help/ NATO is a defensive alliance, if a member state is attacked by another non NATO member then the other member states are obliged to help, with either weapons, troops, financial support

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Khaos - do you think that maybe Russia is antagonizing the west by its actions? Wouldn’t it be better for them to stop the fighting and go back home before things get much worse for them?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@wtfjapan

Didn't we just witness some prime lessons of false-flag operations ? If there is a will, there is a way.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

There is no court, prison or police for 'bully' countries. There is no high authority that can punish countries for their behavior. 

The Hauge just entered the chat,

also seems like all those democratic countries around the world are doing a pretty good job shutting Russia out of the worlds markets, Russia wont financially survive with just China buying their oil

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@wtfjapan

The Russian ruble is officially the best performing currency for 2022, is that what you call successfully "shutting Russia out of the worlds markets" ?

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

The majority of the population of Ukraine had/has no fear of Russia. 

Fear, maybe no.

Intense hatred, definitely. In spades. All thanks to Mad Vlad.

They are literally, only using NATO as a shield

Erm, that's literally what NATO is, a defensive alliance....

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@UChosePoorly

No, because that will leave their separatist allies face extermination, and the security of Crimea will be in danger as well.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

The Russian ruble is officially the best performing currency for 2022, is that what you call successfully "shutting Russia out of the worlds markets" ?

Tell that to their oligarchs, who have lost massive rubles this year. See if they like your "best performing currency".

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Big words from NATO lickspittles. Sounds just like Hitler. How did this thinking work out for Hitler?

Fascism  is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy.

now which world dictator uses forcible suppression of opposition, through imprisionment and execution's

has full financial control of society and the economy. One person comes to mind

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Didn't we just witness some prime lessons of false-flag operations ?

yes we did when Putin send in troops in east Ukraine in the name of supporting Russians in eastern Ukraine, calling it a supporting operation,

eerily similar to Hilters propaganda for invading Poland, we all know what happened after that

10 ( +11 / -1 )

America, Finland have less than ,22,000 ,under arms

You need to add another zero to that. The wartime strength of the Finnish Army is 280,000 and with activation of reserves grows to 900,000. Conscripts are trained by a wartime unit for a specific reserve unit. When the training is completed the conscripts are demobilized. During refresher training or in an emergency the conscripts in each reserve unit are returned to the wartime unit they trained with.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

and the security of Crimea will be in danger as well.

Putin already annexed Crimea, but yes the security of Crimea will be in danger once Ukraine gets the weapons it needs

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Big words from NATO lickspittles.Sounds just like Hitler.

Did you miss the 'if' at the beginning of my conjecture?

(hint: the conjecture doesn't hold water).

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The Russian ruble is officially the best performing currency for 2022, is that what you call successfully "shutting Russia out of the worlds markets" ?

The Russians have had to close two tank plants for lack of materials they need that are subject to sanctions. They are apparently taking semiconductors from washing machines and dishwashers to keep their equipment running because they can no longer obtain the components they need.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russian-military-equipment-computer-chips-refrigerators/

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Khaos - the secessionist traitors in the east of Ukraine may find themselves in trouble, but that's what they get for accepting the support of the enemy. I do believe that Ukraine is intending to reclaim all of the territory that Russia has taken so far. It might be a good idea if they created a buffer-zone on Russian soil to prevent against further aggression against Russia, but that discussion can wait for another time.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I agree. But if they were ever going to do it, they should do it now, when Russia is both weak, and already occupied with another war. This is prime time for anyone in the world with a grudge against Russia to attack them with little risk.

You couldn't be more wrong. If there was such a pile on attack by another nation it would in all likelihood drive Russia to use nuclear weapons. Russia is already feeling increasingly vulnerable and threatened. This might be the most dangerous time for some other nation to take a crack at Russia.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@wtfjapan

Do you believe it's impossible for a NATO country to stage the same kind of thing? Can you rule out that someday we wouldn't be hearing an unverified claim that Russia has attacked a Baltic state, followed by a grand speech from some big guy about how NATO has to go and defend that state, neutralize future threats to it, maybe liberate some poor suffering people that don't want to be part of Russia along the way?

Similar things have happened before, done by NATO countries.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

You couldn't be more wrong. If there was such a pile on attack by another nation it would in all likelihood drive Russia to use nuclear weapons. Russia is already feeling increasingly vulnerable and threatened. This might be the most dangerous time for some other nation to take a crack at Russia.

Shh, just trying to cast doubt in the minds of the Putin shills.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The Russian ruble is officially the best performing currency for 2022, is that what you call successfully "shutting Russia out of the worlds markets" ?

Russia is creating an artificial demand for Rubles by forcing Russian companies to convert their foreign exchange including earnings from foreign sales into Rubles and by making it all but impossible for anyone in Russia to convert Rubles to any other currency. With anything that can be bought and sold, if you prop up demand and smother supply, the value goes up.  A nation can have a recession while still having a stable currency btw. The Institute of International Finance predicts that Russia’s economy will contract by 15%. Other analysts predict a 10% contraction. Factories are closed, products are not being made. Stores are closed and there are no sales. Employees are out of work.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@Desert Tortoise

That's true, they've taken measures to prevent a weak ruble. And as a result, it's a far cry from "ruble is worth less than a penny".

The sanctions naturally cause damage to the Russian economy, as well as European economy, and the world economy. It's questionable who suffers the most. Probably some 3rd world country, who no one pays attention to.

We'll see which economy is more resilient in the end, but Russia had a lot of time to prepare and all resources it needs, so I think they have fairly good chance at winning on that end.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

@Strangerland

Do you think a North Korea with the size and arsenal of Russia is a good thing?

That'll pretty much spell doom for the democratic world. Everyone who voices an opinion that contradicts the officials will be branded an enemy spy, enemy influencer or something along the lines. We'll see persecution and censorship at unprecedented level and all that in the context of maybe starting the deadliest conflict in human history.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

@uchosepoorly

Yes Ukraine wanted to join NATO the option was denied.

No NATO isn't just a defense organization.

NATO is a military and sometimes attacks other countries and is renowned for stirring up trouble more than keeping it !

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Kyo wa heiwa dayo neToday  03:23 pm JST

@uchosepoorly

Yes Ukraine wanted to join NATO the option was denied.

No NATO isn't just a defense organization.

NATO is a military and sometimes attacks other countries and is renowned for stirring up trouble more than keeping it !

Tell us how exactly. You made the claims now back them up.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Uchosepoorly:

the one thing that Russia has achieved so far to some extent has been death and destruction. 

That's two things.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Putting all the blame on Russia doesn't really help!

A way out of this conflict should have had been negotiated and finalised days after it broke out, if the intention was to put an end to it of course!!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Russia is fast running out of options. They can either join NATO or the CCP and answer directly to Jinping. Russia will not be a relevant nation alone for much longer thanks to Putin's miscalculations.

Partnership with NATO seems the better option to being a satellite state under China.

Finland and Sweden have been pushed by Putin to join NATO. It is the Russian people themselves that will demand Putin join NATO in the near future.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sh1mon M4sadaMay 13 08:31 am JST

@lincolnman Every one of the objectives he wanted to achieve, the exact opposite has occurred...

Yeah right, tell that to Ukrainian who lost families and homes.

Surprising to see a pro Russian admit that Putin's objective was to kill Ukraine families and destroy their homes. An honest not normally seen from that camp.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Opinion polls can be easily manipulated for political reasons.

Most opinion polls in Japan have a survey of 1000-1500 respondents, to represent the opinions of 26,000,000 citizens.

a) Very true. Professional organizations that poll people strive to ask questions that don't lead to a specific answer. We've all seen biases polls. The best we can do is refuse to take part in those and point out the reason to the pollsters.

b) This math area called "statistics" is really amazing. It has specific requirements in how the people polled are selected to accurately reflect within ±3%. The math is well known and proven to work. More people, slightly increases the accuracy range. Mainly, it requires getting a 100% random sample of participants. That is harder than it used to be, since nobody answers phones anymore.

For example, all internet polls have a bias, unless the entire population of interest is included in the poll - and it is mandatory. This is a well-known problem in self-selected polls.

https://www.khanacademy.org/math/statistics-probability/designing-studies#sampling-methods-stats is a short course on sampling methods, if you'd like to learn.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe because the general public knows that if Finland doesn't join NATO, there is zero chance of a Russian invasion.

I would argue the opposite. Once in NATO the chances of a Russian attack reduce to zero.

If Finland joins NATO, there are no guarantees about anything. Will the Russians do nothing? Will they obliterate Finland?

Perhaps cyber attacks and or economic sanctions but no chance of an invasion.

Will they invade Finland? Who knows?

No, everyone knows that.

The only certainty is that the general public knows joining NATO will have a severely detrimental effect on the security of Finland.

Again, the opposite is true. Their safety is assured. It also makes Russia more safe as it is one less nation they will send their children to die in.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Finland’s leaders said Thursday they’re in favor of rapidly applying for NATO membership, paving the way for a historic expansion of the alliance that could deal a serious blow to Russia

Sorry - i think it's about Finland security?? No?

serious blow to Russia

May be it will be much more simpler to declare a war?

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Olegek, russia because of its illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine is now perceived in both Sweden and Finland as a clear and present danger to their security so yes for once you are quite right it is about Finland’s security; their accession brought about by russia’s actions will be a total reversal of what the kleptocratic dwarf in the kremlin wanted and consequently a serious blow to russia.

No one intends to declare war, not even the blowhards in the kremlin for all their huffing and puffing, their army is too busy getting chewed up in Ukraine.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Olegek - right now, for right or wrong, smaller countries near Russia are afraid of Russian aggression. This is a case where perception is reality, and Sweden and Finland feel like they will be safer under the NATO umbrella than outside of it.

As a citizen of a country who has all too often been the “bad guy”, I can empathize with how you may be feeling right now. It’s not personal. It’s up to all of us as global citizens to do what we can, however small, to help us move forward as a planet. Aggressive wars for territory should be relegated to the dustbin of history. It’s not who we are as a species anymore, or at least it shouldn’t be.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Compelling Finland and Sweden to joining NATO was/is the next phase of the plan after getting Ukraine into war with Russia!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Waah - What do you think the next phase is after that?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Who would think Putin was that misinform that led to him taking the bait prefectly lay out by the Smarter opponent. This as turn out to place NATO in a way better security footing then they could amagined. I don’t believe this war was brought because Putin is big headed but badly misinformed. No doubt the misinformed were feed by intel units. In a year or few you see Russia coming to the table not with demands but going away excepting the west demands.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Olegek, russia because of its illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine is now perceived in both Sweden and Finland

1 Czech Republic Hungary Poland Romania Slovakia Slovenia Estonia Latvia Lithuania Bulgaria Albania Croatia

also joining NATO because of "Invasion in Ukraine"?

Or may be everything is just the opposite - Russia start op in Ukraine because of NATO going east?

2 Literate people write the name of the country with a capital letter

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

This will be interpreted by Moscow as a direct national threat. Russia has already hinted that they will use their nukes if they are provoked. Is the EU or NATO out of their mind? Are they escalating the war in a new level?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Olegek - right now, for right or wrong, smaller countries near Russia are afraid of Russian aggression. This is a case where perception is reality, and Sweden and Finland 

OK Georgia (not US state!) also want some security, as a result they got a disaster.

Leaders of Ukraine (biggest state in Europe) also want "some security" they received... full disaster.

The conflict un Ukraine not come to an end yet. And all the things are possible. Lot of NATO officers are involved in this conflict. Some of them already dead. Yes - it's correct info. Some US/UK officers. Not mercenary, but active Army/NAVY officers.

An American marine corps lieutenant-colonel, as well as an English major from the commando brigade of the marine corps, landed on Snake Island along with Ukrainian fighters. They coordinated the work of NATO intelligence assets and the Ukrainian landing forces. Both officers landed in the first wave. Both die on this special island near Odessa (Ukraine). 

We have a lot of problems without Sweden and Finland.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Hi Rodney.

Are you Finnish or Swedish? Are you in Finland or Sweden? Are you actively reading Finnish or Swedish newspapers and following their media, in Finnish or Swedish? Are you yourself taking part in the polls? Or are you perhaps a fortune teller or a psychic?

If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, then please stop talking like you’d represent us Finns or the Swedes.

The majority of us want to join NATO, asap - so get over it. The main complaint amongst the citizens is that the process is actually taking too long.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Olegek

Czech Republic Hungary Poland Romania Slovakia Slovenia Estonia Latvia Lithuania Bulgaria Albania Croatia

all joined NATO because they had already endured russian oppression and didn't want any more of it preferring a free western lifestyle. Sweden and Finland already have it and would rather not lose it to russian interference which in the light of their illegal Ukrainian invasion has become a distinct danger therefor they are looking to those pther countries and peoples with like outlooks for support and protection which is what NATO' is, a mutual defence organisation.

Georgia and Ukraine as sovreign nations should never have been invaded by russia. They were not members of NATO but had they been russia would never have dared attack them

As to your spurious and unsuported claims of British and American dead and NATO involvement, pray submit valid, objective evidence for these propaganda claims?

>

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"As russias military is progressively chewed up in Ukraine China is watching and waiting until they are too weakened to be a threat and then they will either walk in and “liberate”Siberia, much of which was ripped away from China in the 19th century or russia will be forced to give them unlimited access to its resources for their economic support. Poo tin has finally brought down the russian empire."

Fair point: crowded China sits next to empty Siberia and the Russian Far East.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Lot of NATO officers are involved in this conflict.

If only. I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. What evidence do you have?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Russia done screwed up by proving NATO by trying to expand their borders with NATO nations. If Russia hadn’t provoked NATO, Finland and Sweden wouldn’t be joining NATO. Oh, and people wouldn’t have realized just how weak the Russian military is.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

OK Georgia (not US state!) also want some security, as a result they got a disaster. 

Leaders of Ukraine (biggest state in Europe) also want "some security" they received... full disaster.

Neither of these countries are NATO members. Good job highlighting why Finland and Sweden would be much better off as members.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Olegek - all of those countries decided that they would rather be aligned with the West/Europe instead of Russia. Why do you think that is?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“History will determine why Finland needed to turn its territory into a bulwark of military face-off with Russia while losing independence in making its own decisions,” 

It's sad when you give the enemy the moral highground and you haven't even fired a shot. A coward truly dies a thousand deaths.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This will put NATO right at the border of Russia. Ukraine wanting to be a NATO member is the very reason why Russia invaded Ukraine. This may not be a wise move for Finland and Sweden. Whether we like it or not, the truth is - Russia won’t lose in Ukraine because Russia will lead a coalition of nations including Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya and other central Asian countries to invade Israel for a spOIL because Israel will emerge as the alternative source of energy for Europe that will directly hurt Russian coffers. Maranatha!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

These Russians are truly deluded , its pretty obvious why they have joined NATO.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

OWN GOAL for Putin!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bloomberg Politics reports:

Finnish Support for NATO Membership Jumps to 76% in Latest Poll

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm afraid NATO will make of Finland what had been making of Ukraine; a weapon !

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

WaahToday  05:02 pm JST

I'm afraid NATO will make of Finland what had been making of Ukraine; a weapon !

The thing is, it really is up to these individual sovereign nations to decide if they want to join NATO, who isn't forcing them in any way. It is not up to Putin who, on the other hand, is using NATO as an excuse to attack and regain as much of the old empire as possible. It's all on Putin so I really don't blame any nation for wanting to join, rather than leave themselves completely exposed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

NATO has been threatening Russia since it's conception and didnt allow Ukraine to join.

please state one example where anyone from nato has threatened Russia

Has Russia invaded a NATO member ?

no, because Russia only invades small helpless countries

Has NATO stopped the invasion of Ukraine ?

yes, by supplying Ukraine with weapons to fight the invading Russians

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@heiwa

NATO is a military and sometimes attacks other countries 

please state an example of a country nato has attacked.

you have stated this several times, but just saying it doesn’t make it true

1 ( +2 / -1 )

tooheysnew:

please state an example of a country nato has attacked.

Serbia and Libya, for starters. I'm sure others here can give other examples.

And by the way, the NATO attack on Serbia also led to the bombing of the Chinese embassy, injuring dozens and killing three Chinese reporters.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sorry, but both those were peacekeeping missions, to implement United Nations resolutions

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Russia warns of nucclear ,hypersonic deployment if Sweden and Finland join nato.

So only god knows what is the future hold for us,,,,,,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Finland is really asking for it. Russia has responded that it will only take seconds to destroy Finland and the UK. It is a good thing Turkey being an important member of NATO is opposed to this because of Ankara’s good relationship and cooperation with Moscow. Russia won’t go to Finland. It will come down from the North to lead a coalition of nations to invade Israel for a spOIL. Why? Because Israel will emerged as the most realible and viable source of energy for Europe and the rest of the world.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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