A historic and potentially revolutionary event has shaken the geopolitical balance in Northern Europe: Finland, for a long time a neutral nation, has officially decided to join NATO. The implications are huge and it is time to discuss the reasons why this usually defenceless country has made such a bold move and the consequences that will ensue both for Europe as a whole and for relations with Russia. Finland is moving towards a new chapter in its history, amid excitement and uncertainty, as it prepares to face the excitement but also the challenges inherent in joining this prestigious international military alliance. In this post we will explore all those questions burning on the lips of political observers – what factors influenced the Finnish decision? How will it change the strategic landscape of the surrounding region? And most importantly, how will Moscow react? Immerse yourself in reading this accurate and exciting analysis of the dynamics at work in Northern Europe and follow us step by step in exploring the motivations behind this momentous news: ‘Finland has joined NATO’!
The process of Finland’s accession to NATO has been much discussed in the years leading up to its official entry in 2020. Finland, already a member of the European Union and NATO’s Partnership for Peace, started membership negotiations in 2018. Discussions focused on the benefits of this decision in terms of national security and the guarantee of being protected from external threats. However, the move was criticised by Russia, which expressed concern about the expansion of NATO on its borders. Despite this, Finland decided to proceed with NATO membership, thus becoming the 30th member of the military alliance.
Finland’s entry into the Atlantic Pact represents an important step for the country’s geopolitics and strategy. Having experienced Soviet occupation during World War II, Finland is now in a crucial strategic position in the confrontation between Russia and NATO. The decision to join NATO was made after years of discussion regarding national security and the need for increased military engagement. Finland’s membership in NATO can also positively affect relations with Russia, a historical and commercial neighbour of Finland, but also a military power that has proven to be a possible adversary over the years. Finland has always tried to maintain balanced relations between East and West, but in recent years Russian aggression towards its neighbours has triggered the need for more decisive action on the Finnish side. NATO’s presence in Finland will provide greater protection inside and outside its borders, but at the same time make the country an important player in the Atlantic Pact. Finland will be able to contribute to Atlantic Alliance military operations, participating in joint exercises and contributing to NATO missions abroad. Moreover, the access to technology and information that NATO membership will bring will reduce Finland’s dependence on the Russian giant in the military field. Finland will be able to modernise its armed forces, improve the quality of its equipment and secure its position within the Atlantic Pact. In conclusion, Finland’s membership in NATO is an important step forward in the country’s national defence strategy. Finland thus becomes a strong ally of the Atlantic Alliance and can contribute significantly to the security of the entire Northern European region.
Finland’s eventual entry into NATO could have a significant impact on the military balance in the Baltic and Nordic area. Currently, Finland is one of the few countries in the region that is not a member of the Atlantic Alliance, and its membership could result in an increased military presence of the US and NATO member states in the area. This could be seen as a threat by Russia, which has already expressed concern about NATO moving closer to its borders. However, Finland’s entry into NATO could also represent a greater security guarantee for the country itself. Finland borders Russia, and an increased NATO military presence could deter any hostile actions by Russian forces. Furthermore, Finland’s membership in NATO could be an important political signal to other countries in the same situation. In fact, Sweden and Finland are the only two countries in the region that do not belong to the Atlantic Alliance, but Finland’s possible entry could push Sweden too to consider the option of NATO membership. In any case, Finland’s entry into NATO could lead to a strengthening of the alliance in a strategic area of Europe. However, it is also important to consider the possible negative consequences of membership for relations with Russia and for the stability of the Baltic and Nordic area.
The news of Finland’s entry into NATO was not welcomed by Russia. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, stated that the decision poses a threat to Russia’s national security and expressed concern that NATO is getting closer to Russia’s borders. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Finland’s entry into NATO would have negative consequences on relations between the two countries, and might require an appropriate response from Russia. Russia’s reaction to Finland’s possible entry into NATO should not come as a surprise. Russia has been increasingly alarmed by the Western military presence in its immediate neighbourhood, including Poland and the Baltic States, considering it a threat to its national security. Finland’s entry into NATO could be seen as an even greater threat to Russia, as the country borders Russia by almost 1,300 km. The diplomatic consequences of this move by Finland are still uncertain. Relations between Russia and Finland already experience ups and downs due to the past historical ties between the two countries and current economic and cultural relations. Finland’s entry into NATO may lead to a deterioration of bilateral relations and the creation of a new zone of tension between Russia and the West. However, it is important to note that the final decision on NATO membership lies with Finland and will depend on its national security objectives and perceived balance between the need for protection and peaceful coexistence with Russia.
Finland’s accession to NATO has had significant effects on Finland’s domestic politics. Firstly, the decision was the subject of great debate within the government, with the left and centre parties opposing membership, while the right and centre-right parties supported it. The debate also rekindled tensions between Finland and Russia, which strongly disagreed with the idea of Finnish membership in NATO. However, the majority of the Finnish population endorsed this decision, convinced that the country would benefit in terms of security in an increasingly unstable world. Furthermore, NATO membership led to an increase in defence spending, with increased investment in armaments and modernisation of the Finnish armed forces. This resulted in increased costs for the state budget, which had to redistribute resources to meet the new requirements. On a European level, Finland’s entry into NATO had a significant impact on relations between EU member states. Although Finland is already a member of the EU, NATO membership raised doubts about the country’s role in European integration and its ability to maintain a balanced relationship with Russia. Nevertheless, the EU expressed its support for Finnish membership in NATO, considering it an important element for the security of the Euro-Atlantic area. In conclusion, Finland’s membership in NATO had important implications for the country’s domestic politics and relations between EU member states. However, the country was able to maintain a balance between its defence needs and its position within the European Union, proving once again to be an important player in European geopolitics.