Finland NATO membership: The inclusion of Finland will enhance the intergovernmental military alliance, according to NATO’s general secretary, who also said that the organisation intends to shortly welcome Sweden as a full member.

The NATO General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, is heard wishing Finland well in a video posted by the official Twitter account of NATO Spokesman, Oana Lungescu.

Stoltenberg stated that, I applaud the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s decision to ratify Finland’s NATO membership. The accession protocol has now been ratified by all 30 NATO partners.

Furthermore, Stoltenberg added that he just phoned with President Sauli Niinisto to convey his congratulations on this momentous event.

On March 30, the Turkish Parliament overwhelmingly supported Finland’s application to join NATO, removing the final obstacle to membership, while continuing to oppose Sweden’s bid to join the military alliance.

According to a CNN report, Ankara’s decision carries out Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “promise” to let Finland to join the military alliance.

The final NATO member to approve Finland’s membership was Turkey. Sauli Niinisto, the president of Finland, declared his nation “ready to join NATO” after the referendum.

In 2022, Sweden and Finland both submitted NATO membership bids. With the exception of Turkey and Hungary, the majority of NATO members had supported the two Nordic countries’ applications.

Since that Putin has previously stated his intention to obstruct NATO’s eastward expansion, this represents a strategic and diplomatic setback for him. In actuality, Putin’s justification for invading Ukraine was to obstruct NATO’s eastward expansion. Again, in spite of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO is now enlarging itself to the east, which implies that the assault did not have the anticipated outcome.

Also Read: Ukraine War: Germany Vows to Send 12 Billion Euros in Military Support

Finland – Russia relationship

The beginnings of this relationship may be found in the 18th century, when Finland was subjugated by Russia and included to the Russian Empire. At this time, efforts were made to stifle Finnish nationalism as well as to impose the Russian language and culture. Finland proclaimed its independence and established itself as a democratic republic after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Finland was compelled to engage in two conflicts with the Soviet Union during World War II. Finland successfully withstood a Soviet invasion during the Winter War of 1939–1940, but in the peace agreement that followed, Finland was compelled to lose territory to the Soviet Union. Finland fought alongside Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union in the Continuation War of 1941–1944, but was ultimately defeated and forced to give up further territory to the Soviet Union.

Finland adopted a neutrality and non-alignment policy after the war in an effort to maintain a balance in its relations with both the West and the Soviet Union. Finland was able to keep its independence thanks to this approach and avoid being used as a pawn in the Cold War conflict between the US and the USSR. It did, however, make Finland more susceptible to pressure from the Soviet Union, which still had a sizable military presence in the area.

Finland started pursuing deeper ties with the West after the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991. Finland acceded to the European Union in 1995, and in 1999 it joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace. Finland, however, had resisted joining NATO, in part out of fear of upsetting Moscow. Everything changed when Russia made the decision to invade Ukraine, which convinced Finland that it needed to join NATO for its protection and security.

Finland and Sweden leaders at NATO - Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg looks on as Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (left) and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde (right)

Possible repercussions of Finland’s actions

With potential repercussions for regional security and stability, Finland’s decision to join NATO marks a significant shift in the balance of power between Russia and the West. It is likely that the inclusion of Finland as a member of NATO would be interpreted as a substantial increase of relations with Russia. Because of Finland’s decision to join the alliance, the border between NATO and Russia is now much closer to Moscow, raising concerns about a potential threat to Russian security.

Additionally, the stability of the Arctic region may be affected by Finland’s enlistment in NATO. Finland and Russia share a long border in the Arctic, and the region might become militarised as a result of Finland’s participation in NATO, thereby escalating tensions and raising the likelihood of conflict.

Some security studies academics have expressed concern about this, claiming that the Arctic is developing into a key arena of geopolitical conflict as Russia, the US, and other countries struggle for influence and control.

The impact Finland’s choice to join NATO may have on the larger strategic balance in Europe is another potential consequence. According to some academics, the enlargement of NATO’s borders closer to Russia may give Moscow more confidence to pursue an assertive and combative foreign policy, possibly sparking a new round of arms races and military buildups. NATO’s growth poses a serious strategic threat to Russia, and Moscow may react accordingly.

Moscow will not be convinced that maintaining normal relations with the West is the only choice available to it. Russia will therefore forge closer ties with Beijing. Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot of conflict between China and Russia, and the two countries’ long-term interests are not as closely aligned as their leaders would like the public to believe. Moscow will now be forced to strengthen its ties with China due to its increased sense of vulnerability, which from a global strategic perspective is also a loss for the West.

By piyush

Writes on Geopolitics and Foreign Affairs, Avid learner. Reads books and sips Tea.

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