At around 10 a.m. local time on May 12, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin issued a joint statement formally announcing their support for Finland’s application to join NATO, the Daily Beast reported. The statement said that joining NATO will strengthen Finland’s security. As a NATO member, Finland will strengthen the entire defense alliance. Finland must apply for NATO membership immediately and hopes that the steps needed to make this decision will be carried out quickly in the coming days.
Finland was once part of Tsarist Russia, from which it seceded after World War I. The process did not go well, and a number of wars broke out with the Soviet Union afterwards, at a terrible cost. Late in World War II, Finland took the initiative to make peace with the Soviet Union, deciding to be “permanently neutral” and not to intervene in major power conflicts.Finland is the home of Father Christmas and was first inhabited by the Lapps, hence the name Lapland. The Finns moved in and established an early state. Finland has been part of Sweden since the twelfth century, was incorporated into the Kalmar Union in 1397, became independent with Sweden in 1523, was annexed by the Russian Empire after the Russo-Swedish War in 1809 and became a subordinate Grand Duchy of Finland, declared independence in December 1917 and became a permanent neutral state with a republican system.
Sweden’s policy of neutrality dates back to the 1780s and stems from the joint armed neutrality alliance with Tsarist Russia and Denmark. After World War II, Sweden realized that it was dangerous to be involved in a major power conflict, and that it would probably be killed, so it voluntarily gave up developing nuclear weapons and established neutrality in the Cold War.
Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the news that both Finland and Sweden may join NATO has been continuous. At around 10 a.m. local time on the 12th, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin issued a joint statement officially announcing their support for Finland’s application to join NATO.
Finland has a border with Russia of about 1,300 kilometers, the longest border line with Russia among European Union member states. A number of European diplomats told The Times that the admission of Finland and Sweden would significantly strengthen NATO, especially in terms of intelligence gathering and air power, and would prompt Russia to adjust its military deployment in the northwest.
Under the leadership of the United States, NATO has expanded eastward five times since 1999, increasing the number of member countries from 16 to 30 and pushing eastward more than 1,000 kilometers to the Russian border. Russia sees NATO’s eastward expansion as a red line threatening Russian security and has warned Finland and Sweden not to join NATO.
Finland and Sweden have long pursued a policy of military non-alignment, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO repeatedly failed to bring the two countries into the fold. The Russian military campaign against Ukraine in February, before and after the launch of special operations, led to a seeming change in the position of Finland and Sweden, respectively announced the delivery of anti-tank weapons and guns and ammunition to Ukraine, etc. As the war continues, there will be more neutral attitude of countries will make the choice attitude against the dictator’s invasion.