Sweden and Finland Seek to Join NATO over Russia


AP Images/Frank Augstein

With Russia becoming more aggressive with every passing day, countries that usually remained neutral are seeking to join NATO for protection.

Ryan Hoffman, Staff Writer

  With the current social climate arising due to the war in Ukraine, a rapidly militarizing Russia is calling into question the security of a lot of countries in Europe. One such country is Sweden, a historically neutral country when it comes to foreign affairs, however their close proximity to the nationalistic Russia made Sweden feel like now is the time to seek safety in the form of joining one of if not the most powerful international organization, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), out of fear they will become the Kremlin’s next victim.

   Another close ally of Sweden and potential NATO applicant is its neighbor Finland. They are both close to the common part of the Nordic union and are close to the growingly aggressive Russia, but most importantly they both show interest in joining the coalition. In an interview with the New York Times, foreign ministers show interest in joining the alliance, but they stopped short of explicitly saying they are joining. A Swedish ambassador mentioned, “we will follow Finland in the application of NATO membership”, and they also said it is very likely that Finland will apply.

   Citizens in both countries are overwhelmingly showing support for joining as well. Polls before the war showed that 26 percent of the population was in favor, though after the war started polls in both Sweden and Finland showed around 92 percent of people were in favor of joining.

   On top of all that they are closely aligned with the west and NATO, and even take part in joint military exercises alongside having a market economy, and a democratic system of governance, effectively checking in all the boxes in joining NATO. If they are accepted into the organization, it could bring forth new and important strategical positions in the event that the two superpowers go to war.

   One key issue with the two Nordic nations joining NATO is Russian reaction to the application. Russia has warned the west of strict implications if Ukraine joins, and on top of that he went out and said, “I will unleash something unlike anyone has ever seen before if the West and NATO intervene”, and with two other states to their left essentially becoming unofficial enemies, Russia will more than likely retaliate with threats of war. They definitely won’t be keen to two new enemies arising on their doorstep.

   For the most part though it is a win-win for the two potential applicants to join NATO from their standpoint. But it is not set in stone weather they are going to join the alliance, but it is better of for the two to seek protection in due to the very emanate threat of their neighbor to the east.