Did Finland Join NATO to Confront Russia?

On April 11, 2023, Long Jing, deputy director of the Center for European Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, declared that Finland’s entry into NATO was not motivated by a desire to promote its security but to rather send a symbolic gesture of opposition to Russia. 

In an interview with Russian state media outlet TASS, Long said the following: 

I believe that Finland’s accession to NATO affects Russia’s national security in the most serious way. We know that Finland is a very important neighbor of Russia. The land border between the two countries is about 1,300 kilometers long.

“Russia may take serious retaliatory measures,” the expert asserted.

In addition, Long provided her take on the reasoning behind Finland’s decision.

“I think that Finland joined NATO not to get protection or guarantees that the alliance would provide military hardware. Rather, its accession to NATO is more of a symbolic nature, specifically to publicly demonstrate [Helsinki’s] change in position regarding regional security structures and make clear its confrontational attitude toward Russia,” she asserted.

Finland’s decision to join NATO is also connected to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, Long added. 

“We know that Finland previously had preferred to stay out of NATO, but its neutral policy of non-alignment with the alliance differed from the policies of other neutral countries, for example, Austria and Switzerland,” Long noted.

The international relations expert highlighted how Austria and Switzerland used their neutral status to ensure their own security.

“However, as for Finland, [previously] it did not join NATO, but at the same time was continuously beefing up its military capabilities. We can say that it is a country with a robust military that, at the same time, worked closely with NATO on various tracks,” she highlighted. In her view, Finland will continue its intimate cooperation with NATO that preceded its recent entry into the alliance. 

“Now we see that, with Finland’s accession to NATO, the conflict has gone into high gear. As for future developments, the security situation in Europe has rolled back to that which existed during the Cold War. It is even worse,” she concluded.

Sweden and Finland originally applied to join NATO in May 2022. However, their initial accession was blocked by Turkey, which pushed the Nordic nations to declare Kurdish organizations as terrorist organizations and extradite certain individuals that the Turkish government has accused of terroristic activity or being involved in the 2016 coup attempt. In an effort to resolve these issues prior to the NATO summit in 2022, Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed a memorandum featuring a list of specific steps that Turkish authorities believed the two Nordic nations should pursue. On March 30, 2023, the Turkish parliament approved a bill to ratify Finland’s accession to NATO. On April 4, Finland was officially brought into the fold as the 31st member of NATO.

For all intents and purposes, Finland will become a sacrificial lamb for NATO’s fanatic agenda should a war kick off on the Finnish-Russian border. On top of that, such an addition to NATO means that the US will have to come to Finland’s defense should a conflict break out between Russia and Finland  — an untenable proposition to say the least. 

Finland can join NATO if it wants, however the US should leave this unholy alliance.

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