world

Sweden, Finland take steps toward NATO membership

50 Comments
By Elias HUUHTANEN

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

50 Comments
Login to comment

duh, that's my point exactly. Finns and Swedes think somehow, magically Putin will treat them differently?

Shimon. Honey. I want you to stop and reread what you said, but this time think REALLY hard about it. What is the major difference between Finland and Sweden vs Ukraine?

If you haven’t guessed it, there is one major difference: NATO membership.

That’s it. There’s no big secret. Ukraine was not covered by NATO’s mutual defense pact. BUT, as a direct result of Vladi’s invasion, NATO has changed its policy and he now made it clear that if Sweden and Finland decide to begin the process of joining the bloc, they will be covered by the bloc’s mutual defense article during said process, which Ukraine was not.

What that means is: If Putin decides to attack either country, even if they have not attained full membership in the bloc, NATO’s mutual defense article will activate and Russia will be at war with ALL OF NATO.

A war they cannot hope to win if a country like Ukraine is giving them THIS much trouble.

Putin with whine. Putin will moan. Putin will rattle his sabers. Putin with threaten. Even now CNN is reporting that Putin has said Finland and Sweden joining NATO “doesn’t pose a threat to Russia”. A far cry from his previous blathering about how he wouldn’t possibly stand for those two countries becoming part of the bloc. The fox couldn’t reach the grapes, so now it’s trying to convince everyone it never wanted them in the first place.

But let me ask you this one, simple question, Shimon.

How many countries that are covered by NATO’s mutual defense article have been attacked by a foreign power?

Answer that, and you’ll understand Russia’s true position.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The argument that Mr. Putin doesn't want to have Russia border a NATO nation is laughable. What would happen if Russia had succeeded in conquering Ukraine? The border of Russia would be right up against a wall of NATO nations with the possible exception of Moldava, which some say was an eventual target in this war. So he was expanding Russia's borders right up to the borders of NATO nations to prevent having Ukraine become a NATO member and thus have a NATO member on its border? It makes no sense.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Putin doesn't have any plans. That is clear. 

I respectfully disagree. Mr. Putin has said many times that he felt the fall of the USSR was the greatest socio-political tragedy of the 20th Century, claiming it tore too many Russian speaking people from the Rodina, or Mother Russia. He has been determined to reconstruct the old Russian empire and bring all those Russian speaker back under Russian control. That is his plan. The 2008 war against Georgia was just the first step in that plan. He has said many times that in his view neither Ukraine, nor Latvia, Estonia or Lithuania are "legitimate countries" but rather integral parts of Mother Russia. Those were is his obvious next targets. Many claim that Mr. Putin doesn't have much time left on this side of the grass and probably feels like this was his only and best chance to be the Russian leader who brought Ukraine back into the Rodina. His big mistake was to grossly misjudge the affections of the Ukrainian people towards Russia. Instead of a warm welcome and a victory parade down the main drag of Kyiv, his army has suffered severe material and personnel losses that cannot be replaced in time to prevail in this war. Instead of affection he found a raw hatred for Russia in Ukraine and a determined will to fight. Now he now has to figure out how to justify to the people of Russia the little detail that something on the order of 50,000 - 60,000 of the Rodina's young men and probably some young women are not coming home from this war. If he doesn't die soon from whatever cancer is eating at him he will probably wish he was dead when the Russian people finally realize what failure this war has become for Russia and that all those young people died in vain.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This will put NATO right at the border of Russia.

NATO has been on the border of Russia for decades.

Countries that share a land border Russia and its territories.

Poland, Latvia, Norway, Estonia and Lithuania. It will now include Finland.

Ukraine wanting to be a NATO member is the very reason why Russia invaded Ukraine.

Putin used many "excuses" for his invasion. Nazi's was one, NATO was another but all have skirted the real objective of territorial gain for Russia. That was the true and only reason for Putin's invasion.

Putin currently has no acceptable way to exit this conflict and keep his position in Russia. Given that, he has no personal reason to do anything but continue on in the meat grinder, losing men and equipment, in the hope that Ukraine will eventually collapse. It won't. In addition, without a guarantee of not being prosecuted personally in the future, he will want to maintain his power and freedom as long as he can.

The ways forward are few and they involve compromise on both sides. Giving up territory is not one of them.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Putin doesn't have any plans. That is clear. He just wants more power and is willing to kill to get it.

Captured Russian soldiers in Ukraine have been clear:

They don't know why they are there. Some are refusing to enter Ukraine. Once there, they know if they retreat, they will be shot. That leaves surrender is the option or killing people in Ukraine. Ukrainians who have a similar culture and often speak Russian.

Read that Russia has lost 30% of their military hardware so far. 4 attempts to get military hardware over a small river have failed with over 70 trucks, tanks, and other vehicles destroyed. There are drone photos of the destroyed equipment.

Ukraine is paying a huge bill from the invaders. I don't think anyone expects them to win, but Russia will pay a much higher price than they expected.

War crime trials are beginning for captured Russian soldiers.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is Putin's fault for provoking NATO by trying to expand Russian borders with NATO. What, did they think nations wouldn't rise to Russia's provocation? That's a pretty big screwup by Putin. Turns out he's not very smart at all. We all just thought he was because he didn't say much. Turns out he was hiding a severe lack of competency.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Now he's relevant again, AND winning new strategic alliances, ie India and China.

Man, those strategic alliances sure are paying huge dividends! I mean, look at all the Chinese and Indian strategic military aid that’s pouring in to make up for their ally’s catastrophic losses! By god, Xi must be shipping millions of dollars in military hardware to Putin every day to make sure their strategic partner isn’t left to twist in the wind! Why, I bet right now, as we speak, the Russians, Chinese, and Indians are forming their own version of NATO, so they can show just how deep their commitment is to one another! And look at all the non-aligned countries bordering Russia that are clambering at the gates of the Kremlin to join Putin and be protected from NATO because the rest of the world definitely sees NATO as the real threat and Russia as a relevant stabilizing force that totally isn’t a pariah state that even it’s closest ideological Allie’s won’t help beyond empty platitudes and token grain import increases!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

In their short history, Finland has already been attacked 3 times by the Soviets since 1918 - they've been repelled each time. Finns know not to trust them

Russia can't do squat, especially with how much trouble they're having in Ukraine. Finland and Sweden are not Ukraine. Finland and Sweden already at near NATO level and regularly train together

Putin has become the greatest recruiting tool for NATO

https://news.yahoo.com/sweden-finland-sign-defense-treaty-154541258.html

Though a public debate on membership has been ongoing in both countries for years, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has jolted public opinion in support of NATO. A recent poll by Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper showed that 57 percent of Swedes supported joining the military alliance, a jump from 37 percent in January of this year. In Finland, the figures were even more lopsided: soaring to 76 percent in support of membership from 28 percent in January.

The peoples of Finland and Sweden are deciding for themselves what's best for them

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It's getting messier!

Instead of trying reason, we're making weapons out of countries concerns.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

They don’t want to fight WWIII

Invading neighbouring countries on flimsy pretexts is an odd way to not want to fight wars.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

At some point, Russia is going to stop issuing warnings and will actually take action against the responsible parties instead of the proxies. Unfortunately, the Western mainstream media is successfully characterizing these very serious warnings as “wild threats” that are being hurled about "for no reason at all", so the US and European peoples consider them to be on the cartoonish level of Baghdad Bob babbling about “the mother of all battles”.

ESL Mundi - If these "very serious warnings" are anything like your promise that the Russians will drive on to Portugal, then we have nothing to worry about.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Sh1mon M4sada

Considering Russia has lost a third of their invading forces in little Ukraine, I don't think there will be much appetite to start another war with a modern, well equipped army.

This ^ is the only 'temporary' reason for expanding NATO towards the Russian border, ie Russia will have less appetite to engage.

It isn't temporary. Why would you say it is? Russia isn't coming back from it's foray into Ukraine with a stronger military, and it has no money to build a new one.

However, it's only temporary, and doing so is an escalatory measure.

No it isn't. As we have seen, NATO expansion annoys Putin, because it represents the countries joining NATO, that they want to be part of Europe, not part of Russia. But NATO isn't a threat to Russia. It's a defensive force.

Innocent civilians have suffered enough already

I agree. Russia should end its imperialist war now.

whilst the 'powers' like Germany sit back and fund the Russian and Biden gloat about winning a war that NATO has yet to participate in.

I don't follow what you are trying to say here.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The Russians cannot back down, not with NATO now threatening to expand to the Russo-Finnish border. The Europeans could back down, but they are occupied satrapies with political classes controlled by Washington, and their popular attempts to revolt against that control have been suppressed. And the USA will not back down as long as the guilty parties possess the levers of power in DC.

WWIII is not inevitable, but it is increasingly likely now due to the conflicting interests of those who possess the ability to start it. The X factor is China; only China has the power to break Washington’s hold over Europe now. Theoretically, the American people could as well, but they won’t, because they are too fat, stupid, and oblivious to recognize either their own national interests or the incredible danger to themselves.

The wildcard here is that it is in China’s interest to wait and let the Imperial USA commit itself to war with Russia before opening a second global front.

And the Russians clearly know this. They don’t want to fight WWIII, but they absolutely will if that’s the price of protecting their nation, as demonstrated by the recent warning by Defense committee deputy chair Aleksey Zhuravlyov.

Zhuravlyov claimed Finland is being provoked into joining NATO by the US and Britain.

‘The Finns have nothing to share with us. They receive more than 90 per cent gas, timber and much more from us. ‘Who needs fighting first of all? The Finns? They are not afraid that Russia is attacking them. ‘Of course, sooner or later the Americans will force them to do so. Just as they forced Ukraine to do it, they are trying to force Poland and Romania. And, as practice shows, they succeed.

‘It is impossible to say that Finland will join NATO and behave towards us as before – this will not happen. The Americans will incite them to provocations.

‘We endure for a long time. But this cannot go on forever.’

Reflecting a view among hardliners around Vladimir Putin he said: ‘The United States will do everything possible to make World War III happen. Just not on their territory. They will try not to lead to nuclear strikes, but they will try to draw the whole of Europe into a conflict with Russia, inflame the situation in Asia, [and] set fire to as many countries as possible.’

At some point, Russia is going to stop issuing warnings and will actually take action against the responsible parties instead of the proxies. Unfortunately, the Western mainstream media is successfully characterizing these very serious warnings as “wild threats” that are being hurled about "for no reason at all", so the US and European peoples consider them to be on the cartoonish level of Baghdad Bob babbling about “the mother of all battles”.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Considering Russia has lost a third of their invading forces in little Ukraine, I don't think there will be much appetite to start another war with a modern, well equipped army.

This ^ is the only 'temporary' reason for expanding NATO towards the Russian border, ie Russia will have less appetite to engage.

However, it's only temporary, and doing so is an escalatory measure. Innocent civilians have suffered enough already whilst the 'powers' like Germany sit back and fund the Russian and Biden gloat about winning a war that NATO has yet to participate in.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

*only if he invaded Ukraine (not Russia)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sh1mon M4sada

Is it really not possible for them to believe that smaller nations really want to be part of NATO for their own self-preservation?

Depends on your narrative doesn't it.

There are alternatives...

https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/russia-s-ukraine-invasion-may-have-been-preventable-n1290831

Zeeshan Aleem pretty much falls hook, line and sinker for Putin's pretext in that article, but it is a narrative that has some popular support. Unfortunately, it is also quite wrong.

Putin's own propaganda department gave the game up when they accidentally publish and then deleted a propaganda piece, showing that this has been an imperialistic land grab all along.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sh1mon M4sada

Are you implying that Russia will invade those countries and take their land by force?

No body has a crystal ball, the only certainty is that suddenly Sweden and Finland will be perceived as a credible threat by Russia. Just as Putin perceived a NATO Ukraine is a threat, and he has responded accordingly.

Not at all. A NATO Ukraine wasn't a threat to Russia. They were never going to invade Russia. It was a threat only if he invaded Russia. Because then he would be fighting the might of NATO.

As a minimum, Putin is going to have an excuse for 'operations' to gain control of the Baltic sea.

Considering Russia has lost a third of their invading forces in little Ukraine, I don't think there will be much appetite to start another war with a modern, well equipped army.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Sh1mon - Russia does not now “control” the Baltic Sea, nor will they gain control of it. The Baltic Sea will soon be a NATO lake.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Is it really not possible for them to believe that smaller nations really want to be part of NATO for their own self-preservation?

Depends on your narrative doesn't it.

There are alternatives...

https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/russia-s-ukraine-invasion-may-have-been-preventable-n1290831

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Are you implying that Russia will invade those countries and take their land by force?

No body has a crystal ball, the only certainty is that suddenly Sweden and Finland will be perceived as a credible threat by Russia. Just as Putin perceived a NATO Ukraine is a threat, and he has responded accordingly.

As a minimum, Putin is going to have an excuse for 'operations' to gain control of the Baltic sea.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Russia invaded Ukraine to stroke the ego of their psychopathic leader.

This ^ statement is contradicted by...

Putin didn’t want Ukraine to become an economically successful democratic state, because it would show his Russian countrymen what they’re missing out on.

and

if they join NATO, a big fat YES !

Do they think that, or were they duped. Like how Ukrainian were denied the opportunity to negotiate with Putin prior to the invasion.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/a-timeline-of-major-events-leading-up-to-russia-s-invasion-of-ukraine-1.5751379

"Biden promises that the U.S. and allies with act "decisively" if Russia further invades Ukraine."

Decisively? Really, even today, German money is still funding Russia's war crimes. With the benefit of hindsight, ask Ukrainian whether they would have chosen a different path.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Finns and Swedes think somehow, magically Putin will treat them differently?

if they join NATO, a big fat YES !

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Ukraine wanting to be a NATO member is the very reason why Russia invaded Ukraine

wrong !

Russia invaded Ukraine to stroke the ego of their psychopathic leader. He had successfully bullied Georgia, Belarus, & Crimea, & thought he could do the same to Ukraine.

Plus, Putin didn’t want Ukraine to become an economically successful democratic state, because it would show his Russian countrymen what they’re missing out on.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I always find it interesting that some internet person can assert that the other 29 NATO members with a combined population almost twice that of the US and a combined GDP very close to that of the US can somehow be "vassals" to the almighty US. It is as if there is no possibility in their mind that NATO represents shared values, shared threats and a shared response to those threats. No, every relationship in the minds of some here is one of dominance and submission. Is this a reflection of their personal lives or just how they see everything in the world around them? Is it really not possible for them to believe that smaller nations really want to be part of NATO for their own self-preservation? Why is that so hard for some to undersand? Joining NATO is as good a guarantee as there is that your nation won't be attacked by the Russians or anyone else outside of NATO.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The story of Ukraine hasn't been finished yet. Finland ceded territory back in the day, but that was WWII times, not NATO times. I know that Finland and Sweden won't just gift Russia their territory. Are you implying that Russia will invade those countries and take their land by force?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

That is a really bold prediction! Do you really thinking Finland and Sweden are going to give Russia territory?

Did Ukraine give Russia territory? Closer to home, in recent times, did Finland give Russia territory?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

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.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Do you really think*

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Sh1mon - That is a really bold prediction! Do you really thinking Finland and Sweden are going to give Russia territory? Or is that just what you are hoping?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Eastman - It seems like Russia's solution to everything is to threaten. They don't really act like they want to be an equal member of the community of nations.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Finland and Sweden will be able to defend themselves against the Russians because they are good people!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

duh, Russia has invaded Ukraine & is destroying anything & everything

duh, that's my point exactly. Finns and Swedes think somehow, magically Putin will treat them differently?

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not talking about being strong/stronger. Sure alliances are always stronger. But if there's an alternative to joining an alliance, and in this case neutrality has a proven track record, why change?

Ukraine has lost territory since Maidan, sure as day will follow night, the same fate awaits Sweden and Finland.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

well security balance in Europe is again unbalanced as both Sweden and Finland will be no more neutral countries anymore but US vassal even from military point.

lets see what steps Russia will take to restore previous security balance.embargo for oil,gas,nickel,minerals etc?army deployment at its north west border?new missile deployment in same area?

will see.

anyway dont expect that Russia will not just sit and do nothing about it since this is development is considered as their own security threat and its against their own national and security interests...and yes security situation at their north west borders as unbalanced.

action and reaction.

without any delays.

soon Sweden and Finland will know cost of their decision of trespassing of their agreements with Russia.

and yes -it may come more costly for them as they may think right now...

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

To the nay-sayers, you have to admit that if you’re a Swede or a Finn, the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine has scared the hell out of them.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The AvengerToday  07:05 am JST

It shouldn't surprise anyone if Putin managed to cut a backroom deal with Turkey to scuttle Finland's attempt at joining NATO. Russia's acumen for bribery seems far superior to their military skills.

Turkey is no friend of the US or NATO, if it wasn't for that military base there it would probably not be a member. And Turkey has been known to nuzzle up to shady regimes.

Turkey certainly will put its demands on the table to go along with NATO on this, like issues it has with Kurds they consider "terrorists". But at the end of the day Turkey will not want to risk being left out of NATO in the face of Putin's behavior.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

This is plain to see, facts!

yes, the facts are ;

Putin has used military intervention in Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, Libya, Azerbaijan, Belarus

Each country was small & non-NATO.

Each country was subjected to possible war crimes against it’s citizens.

In the same time period, NATO has invaded zero countries.

NATO is a defensive pact & have never expressed any desire or intention to attack Russia.

Ukraine is a mess.

duh, Russia has invaded Ukraine & is destroying anything & everything

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Putin’s promises or guarantees are worth nothing

Only if you have blinkers on.

This is plain to see, facts!

NATO/NATO aspiration:

Ukraine is a mess.

Russia sponsored:

Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Georgia, all averted internal political turmoils, because of Putin's promise.

India and China (despite clashes) are economically unaffected.

Putin desperately needed to change the status quo, NATO has given it to him.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

"Quickly now before the public gets any say or want to vote about it!!"

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

two more countries whose defense will now have to be funded by the USA. smart move by them.

Pure nonsense. No one is forcing the Republicans and Democrats to endlessly increase military spending.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

People will general reap ,what they sowed,that for all people of involved,if you end with short end of the stick,left up to their devices, American are not gung ho about protecting European

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

two more countries whose defense will now have to be funded by the USA. smart move by them.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Smart move !

Putin’s promises or guarantees are worth nothing.

And his pathetic nuclear sabre rattling is predictable & wreaks of desperation.

The days of countries being scared & intimidated by Russia are well & truly over.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Dumb move. Changing the status quo (like Putin has) will only serve Russia. This is Putin's end game. He was almost done for, as reflected by chaos in Belarus and Kazakhstan. Now he's relevant again, AND winning new strategic alliances, ie India and China.

The military industrial complex must be cheering from the sideline. There's no 'win' here, more likely Finland will be 10% smaller again within 5 years. If Finns think Germany will come to their aid, think again, or just ask Ukraine. The only aid will be obsolete equipments that Germany has made redundant decades ago (Gepards).

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

It would appear Poo tins brilliant move has achieved his aim of splitting NATO and preventing more states joining…….err……..oops

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Goodbye Russia!

Hello Europe!

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Near the "Finnish" Line.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Smart move, and who wouldn't after the events in the Ukraine !?

13 ( +17 / -4 )

It shouldn't surprise anyone if Putin managed to cut a backroom deal with Turkey to scuttle Finland's attempt at joining NATO. Russia's acumen for bribery seems far superior to their military skills.

Turkey is no friend of the US or NATO, if it wasn't for that military base there it would probably not be a member. And Turkey has been known to nuzzle up to shady regimes.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites