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Once-neutral Sweden seeks NATO membership in historic shift

51 Comments
By KARL RITTER

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Welcome, Sweden!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

The choice is theirs, they are welcome. Says a lot about russia under the kleptocratic dwarf in the kremlin that they feel the need to abandon 200 years of neutrality.

Erdogan trying to extort concessions again. Sweden and Finland both fulfil the criteria for membership better than Turkey these days.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Russia’s plan to intimidate neighboring countries from joining NATO is backfiring. Sweden and Finland will be good NATO alliances. Russia will get boxed in even more.

Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and UK have all pledged military support for Sweden and Finland during interim before they are full NATO members.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

The fraudulent mistreatment of Julian Assange at the behest of the U.S. made it quite clear in whose pocket the Swedish 'leadership' nestled, but who would have had difficulty swaying their people into Euro lockstep without the imaginary 'threat of the Bear' to mislead them. If entering Ukraine (see: Kosovo) to help those seeking independence from a corrupt central government created such an opportunity for the U.S. to try to flog Russia, imagine what Russia entering entering Sweden of Finland would evoke. And the clearest observation that can be seen in the present situation is that Russia was not in a position or had intention to invade ANYONE. To say so given Russia's performance so far is to LIE in the face of murderous reality. Russia's only real failure was to try to 'intervene' in an ongoing undeclared war in the way America has been 'intervening' for the last 100 years while being clearly unprepared to do so by NOT bankrupting and impoverishing its people in favor of weapons makers and militaristic Corporations. The 'THREAT' here is not Russia but America and its military occupation and political control of Europe.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

The choice is theirs, they are welcome. 

I wish the welcome part was entirely true. Ascension to NATO requires the unanimous approval of the member nations and it appears one nation, Turkey, is hardening its opposition to both Finland and Sweden joining NATO. Turkey claims both nations harbor terrorists, which is another name for political opponents of President Erdogan who had to flee Turkey or be imprisoned. Truly Turkey under Mr. Erdogan has become a state sponsor of terrorism with their support of Nusra Front and their use of Syrian jihadists as mercenaries in Libya, but oh dear according to Turkey it is Finland and Sweden that are the "terrorist states".

12 ( +14 / -2 )

After all the unnecessary deaths and destructions, more escalation. Biden just does not know how to handle world affairs. Even Bush did a better job.

Germany must be glad there are now more countries shielding it from Putin's de-nazification. They'll buy even more gas now.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

William Bjornson

The fraudulent mistreatment of Julian Assange at the behest of the U.S. made it quite clear in whose pocket the Swedish 'leadership' nestled, 

Really? Sweden have never even detained Assange.

 imagine what Russia entering entering Sweden of Finland would evoke.

Laughter? It would be quite a foolish move.

Russia's only real failure was to try to 'intervene' in an ongoing undeclared war

Is that why they tried to attack Kyiv? Didn't know there was a war in that part of Ukraine. And I'm pretty sure everyone knows about that civil war, especially the Russians, because it was started with their troops.

in the way America has been 'intervening' for the last 100 years 

Whataboutism. I'm not defending US's behaviour. At all. But they have nothing to do with Russia invading Ukraine, and so irrelevant.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

After all the unnecessary deaths and destructions, more escalation. Biden just does not know how to handle world affairs. Even Bush did a better job.

So what is your suggestion? Roll over for a belly rub from Uncle Vladdy? Cave in and let the Russians have their way? Is that what you are saying? Be clear and specific about what you think the US should do.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The 'THREAT' here is not Russia but America and its military occupation and political control of Europe.

Another one of the posters I have mentioned before who simply cannot comprehend that nations can have shared values, shared interests, shared threats and a willingness to band together to advance their interest and defend themselves against those shared threats. No, all relationships are always and forever ones of dominance by one and submission by the other. There can never in the mind of some be a partnership of equals. Is that how relationships are in your personal life, dominance and submission? I suspect maybe they are, but among nations that is not often the case. Nations act in self interest but in the case of NATO the self interest is shared among the members. The US isn't forcing any nation to join NATO, nor is France or the UK. All a Finn has to do is look a few hundred kilometers to their south to see a real live threat to their own existence to have a reason to desire NATO membership. As the Finnish President said referring to Mr. Putin, look in the mirror. There is the reason Finland and Sweden desire NATO membership. Being neutral means nothing to Russia. In fact it is an invitation to being invaded. To say otherwise is a denial of reality.

Some occupation btw. The US has 100,000 troops in Europe for the first time since 2005. So you are saying the 3 million or so combined forces of the European nations are being "occupied" by a mere 100,000 US troops? Laughable. There is no occupation. Those US forces are there at the invitation of their host nations and have to live by strict rules there. And if you served abroad you already knew that.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Putin was just awarded the "NATO salesman of the month" badge.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

https://liveuamap.com/

less and less pink on that map every day. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Desert TortoiseToday  

The choice is theirs, they are welcome. 

I wish the welcome part was entirely true. Ascension to NATO requires the unanimous approval of the member nations and it appears one nation, Turkey, is hardening its opposition to both Finland and Sweden joining NATO. Turkey claims both nations harbor terrorists, which is another name for political opponents of President Erdogan who had to flee Turkey or be imprisoned. Truly Turkey under Mr. Erdogan has become a state sponsor of terrorism with their support of Nusra Front and their use of Syrian jihadists as mercenaries in Libya, but oh dear according to Turkey it is Finland and Sweden that are the "terrorist states".

All true, of course, but Turkey's economy has been clobbered over the last decade and its dependency on Russia placed it between a rock and a hard place.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018%E2%80%932022_Turkish_currency_and_debt_crisis

https://www.politico.eu/article/turkey-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-on-russia/

"Money talks" as they say. Wouldn't be surprised if Turkey is preparing its negotiating position with other countries member of NATO to get some kind of an economic life buoy in return.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Money talks" as they say. Wouldn't be surprised if Turkey is preparing its negotiating position with other countries member of NATO to get some kind of an economic life buoy in return.

Europe could also play hardball. Russia is building four nuclear reactors in Turkey that will be owned by Rosatom for their first 25 year of operation. However there is French and US ( GE turbines ) participation in the program. So far no sanctions have been applied to this project or to the Russian bank financing it. The EU and the US could turn the screws and shut that project down if Turkey doesn't allow Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Both sides have some negotiating leverage. Sweden and Finland could make some token changes to their laws regarding what the Turks see as "funding terrorism" to allow Turkey to save face.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

NATO should of been disbanded long ago. They have had more of their soldiers convicted of war crimes and child and human trafficking then any country.

Would you care to show us reputable data backing this claim?

Unlike too many nations those of the west actually prosecute their own soldiers if they commit war crimes. I would argue that Russian soldiers in Ukraine since February have committed vast more, and vastly more horrible, war crimes than NATO has in its history by an order of magnitude and probably more.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Sweden (and Finland) really think they’re doing something great.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I wonder what Putin is thinking right now. Maybe … “Be careful what you wish for.”

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

All true, of course, but Turkey's economy has been clobbered over the last decade and its dependency on Russia placed it between a rock and a hard place.

I also think the rest of NATO and he EU have been sort of holding their breath hoping Mr. Erdogan looses the upcoming election that has to happen no later than 2023. Nobody in NATO is happy with the Turks as the nation becomes an Islamic dictatorship, but I think nobody wants to risk alienating them forever unless it appears that Mr. Erdogan is going to remain in power indefinitely. I think NATO members are praying Mr. Erdogan looses the upcoming election and his successor is more closely aligned with western values.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

mz16 - Russia left them no choice. They were backed into a corner. What did Russia expect would happen when they invaded Ukraine? That everything would work out in Russia’s favor?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Let's be honest, would there be any reason for Russia to feel threatened by Sweden or Finland if they didn't answer NATO's call?

Russia's problem is NATO not its neighbours.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

@Desert Tortoise

Agreed on both your comments on all points.

Up to nowadays has Turkey historically been a "bridge" between the Orient and the Occident and as such as key ally to US, NATO and Europe. With a wannabe strongman and religious zealot like Erdogan and a lot of potential leverage in Turkey's hand--which Erdogan is definitely ready to use (or, arguably to "abuse")--make the man a very uncomfortable ally to work or hang out with.

I too, believe, US, NATO and Europe are keeping their fingers crossed for him to lose the elections or kick the bucket asap.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Waah, Finland and Sweden called up NATO, not the vice versa. Don’t get it twisted.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

UchosePoorly

'Finland and Sweden called up NATO"

Compelled to do so.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Russia's problem is NATO not its neighbours.

no, Russia's problem is PUTIN

8 ( +9 / -1 )

How were they compelled to do so?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Don't look now, but you got a little egg all over your face there, Vlad The Bad. Whoopsie.

So happy to hear you have "no problem" with NATO's expansion to the East...especially since that was one of the expressly stated excuses you used for your unilateral invasion of another westward bordering nation.

Walls closing in all around you, huh, Pootiee? Enjoy! May you reap 100 fold what you sow....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"How were they compelled to do so"

By not trying to end the war in any peaceful way!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Waah

"How were they compelled to do so"

By not trying to end the war in any peaceful way!

They're not in a war!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ever worked with someone who brilliant in organizing things and then screws everything up? Well, that's Putin. He wrecked Russia nascent democracy, gratuitously attacked Ukraine, causing destruction, death and misery for no good reason. Ukraine clobbered Russia. All that pain and death for noting. At last he even lost McDonalds.

He did manage to terrify Sweden and Finland into wishing to join NATO. It won't happen because of Turkey's own version of Putin. But it is likely that Sweden and Finland will form other military alliances. All through the Cold War Sweden and Finland were never (I believe) scared enough of the USSR to consider NATO.

I suspect Putin's reign will be short-lived. Who is next in power. We await with trembling hands.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good thing Putin speaks fluent German - no one will have to translate "Schadenfreude" to him....

3 ( +5 / -2 )

By not trying to end the war in any peaceful way!

They're not in a war!

Letting the war in Ukraine taking more time and lives compelled Finland and Sweden to seek NATO's membership, and it wasn't unplanned!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@Desert Tortoise

I would argue that Russian soldiers in Ukraine since February have committed vast more, and vastly more horrible, war crimes than NATO

Can you provide proof of that claim? I mean proof, not the stories spread by Ukromedia and eagerly retranslated by Western MSM, who were completely blind to horrible war crimes committed by the Ukroregime forces at Donbas for eight years since 2014?

@UChosePoorly

Russia left them no choice. They were backed into a corner

How come? Russia never threatened Sweden since they fought their last war in 1809. And Russia had no problems with Finland since 1945.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Asakaze

How come? Russia never threatened Sweden since they fought their last war in 1809. And Russia had no problems with Finland since 1945.

And yet Putin invaded Ukraine in an imperialistic land grab with its neighbor. Finland is also a neighbor of Russia. I guess that's why. Seems pretty obvious.

When was the last time Ukraine threatened Russia? And yet they were attacked by Russia.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@2020hindsights

Finland is also a neighbor of Russia. I guess that's why. Seems pretty obvious

Russia never threatened Finland, not a single word. And what about Sweden? It's not a Russian neighbour at all.

When was the last time Ukraine threatened Russia? And yet they were attacked by Russia

When was the last time Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya threatened NATO? And yet they were attacked by NATO. Very peaceful organization indeed.

Actually Ukraine threatened Russia at least since the NATO-orchestrated coup d'etat in 2014, when the streets of Ukrainian cities were filled with thugs chanting "Moskalyaku na hilyaku" ("Send Moscovites to gallows").

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

"Russia never threatened Finland..."

Your lack of history knowledge is astounding. What does "Finlandization" mean? Was it forced upon the nation or a choice? Who made them "Finlandize"? And after which aggressive, unprovoked war? Why was "Molotov cocktail" first coined and widely used in Finland, against which invader? Why were they called "Molotov" by the way??

Poor "threatened" Russia...sorry, bud, but history for Europeans doesn't start at 2014, as much as the petulant Putin Puppets wish it did. Russians are hands-down THE most aggressive group of people on the continent, with a long record of outright aggression towards all its neighbors. Try reading a book.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"@Hito Bito

What does "Finlandization" mean? Was it forced upon the nation or a choice? Who made them "Finlandize"? And after which aggressive, unprovoked war?

Finlandization means neutrality, the cornstone of Finland's foreign policy since 1945 after it sided with Hitler in WWII in its attempt to build "Greater Finland". After 1945 USSR and Finland enjoyed good relations and had no problems. But if you want to talk about history, read about how the Finns during the Russain Civil War in 1918-22 massacred almost all Russains on their territory and annexed a part of Russian territory in "an aggressive and unprovoked war".

Russians are hands-down THE most aggressive group of people on the continent, with a long record of outright aggression towards all its neighbors. Try reading a book.

Not the Germans, who started two world wars, not the British, who invaded half the world when building their empire, not NATO who started several wars, but the Russians? Try reading a book, you badly need it.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Asakaze

Russia never threatened Finland, not a single word.

Sure. But Russia invaded a neighbor. A bit of a red flag, would you not say? If they can invade Ukraine on an imperialist mission, then why not us?

Actually Ukraine threatened Russia at least since the NATO-orchestrated coup d'etat in 2014

The coup d'etat had nothing to do with NATO. It was about Ukrainians wanting to join the EU and Putin's puppet in Ukraine, Yanukovych, followed Putin's orders to stamp out the revolution. This is a story fo Russian intervention. In any case, the people of Ukraine got rid of there puppet from Russia.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

*their

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder how Maindersson Street feels about this?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Turkey Says No to Sweden and Finland Joining NATO- Bloomberg

If your not going to allow a brave Ukraine in, why would NATO accept Sweden and Finland?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nonsense??

Yep. And now Russians and Ukrainians and the world are paying for putin believing his own propaganda

Certainly explains how the MSM can control the minds of many.

Well, Russian MSM anyway. Not much there than state propaganda these days. Finally stomped everything else out, right?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How come? Russia never threatened Sweden

russia never threatened Ukraine either.

In fact, Putin & several of his ministers categorically denied that they had any intention of invading Ukraine.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I would argue that Russian soldiers in Ukraine since February have committed vast more, and vastly more horrible, war crimes than NATO

Can you provide proof of that claim?

Thats not especially difficult, unfortunately.

Bucha… just for one. no lack of evidence there

3 ( +5 / -2 )

NATO who started several wars,

Try reading a book, you badly need it.

& which wars did NATO start ?

when was the last time Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya threatened NATO? And yet they were attacked by NATO. 

NATO went to these countries on peacekeeping missions for the United Nations. They did not & have not attacked or invaded any country.

try reading a book, that’s not anti-western

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think a peaceful world can never be reached with NATO and NATO's like around.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

UchosePoorly...

less and less pink on that map every day. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.

Not on the bits that are going to stay Russian...

Towns and villages that came under Russian control on Sunday and Monday in the Dombas...

Kalinova Popranaya, Novozranivka, Oleksandropil, Yarova and Drobysheve.... This is from the Ukrainian's own info..

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Finlandization means neutrality, the cornstone of Finland's foreign policy since 1945 after it sided with Hitler in WWII in its attempt to build "Greater Finland"

No, "Finlanization" meant be neutral, militarily weak and friendly (submissive) towards the USSR or face invasion and subjugation. It is the political equivalent of gelding.

After 1945 USSR and Finland enjoyed good relations and had no problems. 

The were more like an abused wife in that the Soviets prevented them from having an independent foreign policy. Finland's independence was more or less allowed at the pleasure of the Soviets who could have taken it away if they wished.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I would argue that Russian soldiers in Ukraine since February have committed vast more, and vastly more horrible, war crimes than NATO

Can you provide proof of that claim?

Without posting a dozen or more links there are no shortage of security camera videos of Russian soldiers killing civilians, pulling them from cars and executing them, executing them as they run from their cars, shooting workers at an auto dealership after talking and shaking hands with them. Drone videos of civilians being shot in Bucha as mentioned earlier with the bodies seen on the street matching what is seen in the drone video feed. One of the features of this war is how well documented the war crimes are.

Now, are you going to claim the Russians will prosecute their soldiers for war crimes as western nations do? So far the Russians have not even acknowledged committing war crimes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Finlandization meant appeasing a large enemy for your own protection.

In this case, Russia proved that trying to appease Russia is basically just committing your people to a Russian invasion at some unknown point in the future.

Sweden and Finland now have the combined might of NATO at their back. An attack on any NATO nation is an attack on them all.

Putin screwed up royally. This was literally a worst case scenario for Russia, and he caused it himself. And didn't even manage to gain Ukraine in the deal. And caused Russia to be quarantined from humanity.

He should have stuck to taking shirtless pictures on horses. People actually thought he was smart and tough then. Talk about destroying your legacy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So far the Russians have not even acknowledged committing war crimes.

...much less even acknowledged they are at war.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Now, are you going to claim the Russians will prosecute their soldiers for war crimes as western nations do?

If western nations did, in fact and for no other considerations but the rule of law, prosecute any high ranked soldiers, for war crimes, the Russians would have had no option but to endure shame and disgrace if they don't.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So far Mr. Erdogan's NATO representative will not even allow the alliance to formally discuss Sweden and Finland's membership application.

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/05/us-assures-sweden-finland-military-support-turkey-delays-nato-entry

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/05/nato-allies-read-turkeys-wish-list-ankara-holds-membership-bids

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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