Finland and Sweden have agreed to both apply for NATO membership next month, local media outlets from the two Scandinavian countries reported on Monday.
According to the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti, Sweden suggested the two countries “indicate their willingness” to join the Western military alliance on the same day and Finland agreed “as long as the Swedish government has made its decision.”
The Swedish newspaper Expressen later cited Swedish government sources who confirmed the Iltalehti report. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, are set to meet during the week of May 16 and are expected to announce their intention to seek a NATO membership after that.
Earlier this month, Marin and Andersson met in Stockholm to discuss the possibility of joining NATO, a discussion prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After the meeting, Marin said Finland would decide on whether to apply to join NATO in “weeks, not months.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said he believes all 30 members of the military alliance would welcome Sweden and Finland. “If they decide to apply, I expect that all allies will welcome them,” Stoltenberg said in early April. “We know that they can easily join this alliance if they decide to apply.”
Separately on Monday, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported that Sweden had received promises from the US and Britain of an increased military presence in the region and “strong political support” from NATO members during the application process.
Sweden and Finland joining NATO would significantly increase tensions with Russia in the region as Moscow has warned it will bolster its forces along the over 800-mile border it shares with Finland. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, has hinted Russia could deploy nuclear and hypersonic missiles in response.
35 thoughts on “Reports: Finland, Sweden Plan to Apply to Join NATO in May”
77 years of neutrality and peace and freedom from the US/Russia MADness thrown away … and for what? The shall we say less than desirable surety of being the target of Russian thermonuclear bombs, which Sweden and Finland have not been heretofore. This is idiotic.
The idiocy is Putin’s folly in trying to use preemptive war as a means of settling a dispute with another country. Thanks to Putin NATO is expanding to 32 nations with Ukraine the de facto 33rd member and Russia is more surrounded than it was before Putin attacked Ukraine. Eventually the Russian people will recognize what a disaster the war has been for them and the people or the oligarchs will replace Putin.
Russians seem quite solidly behind Putin. It’s the people of the EU who will discover their cushy lives have been ruined by their feckless leaders’ pandering to US masters. When the permanent unemployment in Germany and France reach frightening numbers, when there is no fertilizer to be had for the farmers of Poland and Greece, all of them are shivering in the cold next winter, a revolution may come.
Neither the Russians nor the Euro-Americans will decide the outcome of Putin’s war. The side that has the support of the Ukrainian people will prevail in the long run. The brutal tactics used by Russia will backfire.
Not in the Donbas. After 8 long years, the folks here need some relief.
Russia will not be able to pacify the Donbas.Guerrilla war is coming there. And, considering there are over two million Ukrainians living in Russia, the resistance may not be confined to Ukraine.
Lots of fires breaking out in Russia, governors mansions, recruiting centers, chemical plants, research institutes… it would seem not all Russians are behind him. Not to mention the billionaire oligarchs that are so saddened by recent events that they have taken to committing suicide after murdering their families.
Nato has its fingerprints all over those attacks, it’s war after all but two can play that game. According to their own war games, Nato won’t survive 78 hours in a direct war with Russia. Go figure….
Well at this point it is pretty clear those estimations are way way off. Nato really isn’t involved some countries are giving the Ukrainians some old Soviet era hardware, and giving them some new fangled experimental weapons to try. The fighting is all done by the Ukrainians. If NATO really got involved it would be over for the Russians in Ukraine in very short order.
Nato (US) is leading this war from Brussels, Poland and ukie command centres (quite a few bombed to smithereens by Russia so far) like Azovstal and their Nato trained Nazi proxies are taking orders directly from them via tablets and phones. That is a fact. But it’s not going quite as expected now does it?
Winning a twitter and propaganda war changes nothing at the ground where Russia is winning. The shock and awe effect the first use of hypersonic weapons on nuke- proof bunkers had in the beginning when Nato chickened off (as they always do) has worned off.
Hence the Nato rhetoric (from a safe distance). Russia might have to smash up a minor NATO prostitute (Nato won’t do sh*t) that’ll have a sobering effect and eventually end this standoff….
“Nato won’t survive 78 hours in a direct war with Russia.”
If what you say is true, then Ukraine poses no significant strategic threat to Russia and the invasion is unjustified.
That’s according to their own estimates mind you.
It sounds like you are exaggerating an estimate NATO strategists used during the Cold War. The strategic balance shifted against Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed and the former Warsaw Pact countries joined NATO. The Russian army was defeated in Kyiv and is bogged down in Donbas without NATO committing a single soldier. Russian tanks aren’t going to roll into Paris any time soon.
NATO has effectively surrounded and isolated Russia. Russia is bogged down in the UIkraine with no hope of victory or a viable exit strategy. The Russian army’s scorched earth tactics in Kyiv’s suburbs and Mariupol are turning the Russian speakers of Mariupol into Ukrainian patriots. The flipping of neutral Sweden and Finland is another strategic disaster brought on by Putin’s blunder.
This is all sad because US/NATO imperialism is the greatest cause of misery and impediment to human progress of our time. And until February 24th Putin was an important leader in the movement against US imperial globalism. But he threw that all away in his barbaric attack on a country that did not threaten Russia. Revanchism did not work for Hitler and it will not work for Putin. There are very few justified wars and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is not one of them.
“Russia is bogged down in the UIkraine with no hope of victory or a viable exit strategy.”
Presumably the Russians don’t intend to exit the Donbas republics or give up a land corridor connecting them to Crimea.
The likely plan is to try to get those areas plausibly “secure” in time for Putin to give a “mission accomplished” speech on May 9.
This is a lot like the US in Iraq. I expect Russia will wear down the Ukrainian military (with no NATO casualties) but they will not pacify the Donbas where the majority of people are ethnic Ukrainians. Russia will have to occupy the Donbas until the guerrillas ultimately defeat them because the separatists are incapable of controlling the Ukrainian majority. The occupation will strengthen the resistance until the Russian antiwar movement forces a withdrawal. Putin’s only choices are to retreat now (political suicide) or hang on until the occupation is defeated. “Mission accomplished” is not an exit strategy – it is a propaganda ploy that only delays the Russian defeat. The US invasion drove Iraq closer to Iran and the Russian invasion has delivered Ukraine into the arms of NATO.
The futility of Putin’s “crusade” is illustrated in the wanton destruction of Mariupol, one of the largest Russian speaking cities in Ukraine. Instead of liberating the Russian/Ukrainians, Putin leveled their city, destroyed their homes and their livelihoods, gave Ukraine their Alamo legend and made the Azov brigade patriotic heroes. This is the negative feedback loop that will bleed the Russian occupation to death. The only question is will Putin commit political suicide out of love of his country. I fear the answer is that he would rather send thousands of Ukrainians and Russians to their deaths than to admit he was wrong to invade.
My hope is that China will get involved and put an end to the madness without unduly strengthening NATO.
I hope all wars are disasters for those that initiate them. Hopefully humanity will realize that war is a poor way to operate
The move is to control the Baltic Sea. The other portal for Russian ships to enter the Atlantic Ocean is the Black Sea. This very f*cked. Time to get all of the survival stuff you can.
Yup. It’s also time for Westerners who support this rolling disaster to be told, in blunt language, that they are risking the lives of their children, grandchildren and all others they care about and for.
Yep there is no kidding yourself about Russia anymore.
The Finns has been dusting off their blue on white swastika lately, old habits die hard it seems. Will go fine side by side with the Nato ditto. The Baltic statelets will welcome Finland to participate in their annual Nazi parades with open arms. One big family…
It is what it is. I don’t think Russia views this as an existential threat, as the Ukraine situation. Sidenote: the Russian ruble (currency) is stronger
Russia has already decided to treat NATO expansion as an existential threat. And a threat to its naval and maritime operations on the Baltic will be taken very seriously indeed.
Further, adding those nations to the NATO alliance at this point is an act of blatant hostility and contempt. It’s just more doubling down on dumb and dangerous by the unhinged leaders of the West.
The only existential threat to Russia would be global nuclear warfare.
An existential threat to a particular regime is not the same thing as an existential threat to a durable, widespread culture. Tojo, Hitler, and Mussolini being defeated and deposed didn’t destroy Japan, Germany, or Italy. If a convenient missile strike took out the Kremlin tomorrow morning, the biggest damage to “Russia” wouldn’t be the death of a particular tsar, it would be the loss of some culturally significant buildings.
The Kremlin, which was destroyed in its history before, will then be rebuilt in an absolutely ugly style.
Russia and Ukraine will both survive. But I don’t see any exit strategy for Putin except world war or retreat.
Suppose he claims a land bridge in Donbass and declares victory. What then? The Ukrainians would continue the war as long as NATO keeps resupplying them. Keeping Russia engaged in a permanent war in Ukraine without a single NATO soldier involved except for a few advisers is a dream come true for US/NATO. The Russians would be as stuck in Donbass as the US became in Iraq.
Putin would be an idiot to try to march west from Donbass to Odessa and Kyiv.
Finland and Sweden never would have joined NATO if Putin had not invaded Ukraine. So thanks to Putin’s folly the Baltic is a NATO lake with most of Russia’s fleet bottled up in the Baltic and the Black Sea if the US wants to blockade. So Putin’s invasion turned a strategic threat into a strategic calamity that can only end with Russia’s ignominious withdrawal.
I’m not sure why this is so difficult for you and so many others to understand, Thomas, but here it is again: It matters not in the slightest what you or I or anyone other than the Russian leadership and Russian people think constitutes an existential threat — not a bit or a whit or an iota.
Try this thought experiment: Imagine that a mugger, unarmed, accosts a pedestrian and begins to rough him up, just a bit, to force him to give up his wallet. Most likely, the mugger has no intention of killing or seriously injuring the victim. He’s probably quite certain that his simple battery doesn’t constitute an existential threat.
Let’s say, though, that our victim either has or sincerely believes he has a serious heart condition that could result in sudden death from the stress of this simple assault. In reasonable fear of his life, our victim draws his gun and shoots the mugger dead.
In real life, as in our legal tradition, you take your victim as you find him, and you take the consequences if your assessment of the threat level differs significantly from the victim’s.
You and the rest of the dangerously-confused West are on notice.
I’m not sure why this is do difficult for you to understand, but:
I didn’t comment on what the Russian regime or the Russian people might think constitutes an existential threat.
I commented on what is or is not an existential threat.
There’s a difference.
I’m not sure why this is so difficult for you to understand: It doesn’t matter what you think is “actually” an existential threat. I do wonder why you presume to think you know.
I don’t think I know. I know.
“Russia” is a widespread and longstanding culture. Unless all human life is destroyed, it will continue to exist for likely hundreds, possibly thousands, of years. Borders and regimes changing aren’t “existential threats” to that fact of reality.
No, Thomas, you merely think you know. And that you think so is indeed presumptuous. Your anti-state ideology is perfectly fine as an ideology, a philosophical position. It does not, however, trump the reality of the existence of nation states in the world we actually live in. It is aspirational, nothing more.
I remind you, again, of a reality that no well-informed adult should need to be reminded of: It doesn’t matter what you think; it matters only that the people in control of the nuclear arsenal of a nation state believe that the threat to its borders and regime is existential.
Mearsheimer has been explaining this in simple terms that almost everyone ought to be able to grasp, for a very long time. He just did it again, for China’s English-language CGTV:
During the Cold the West and USSR managed to sidestep nuclear conflagration, by being able to control the scenarios in which one would have to resort to pressing the button, the other respond. Today leaders are not reading their history books. They think this is re-run of the period 1945-1991. But the Cold War was an era of peace (relative): we are now in an era of war, facing the apocalypse we were reprieved in the second half the twentieth century.
Do the people of Finland and Sweden know that once you are in there is no way out because the only way for a way out is a complete demise of NATO: all out? I doubt that.
When I asked relatives in Germany, they did not know that.
NATO is a treaty organization.
Any regime that enters a treaty can abrogate that treaty.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty limits a signer’s right to withdraw and some authorities maintain that a party cannot withdraw over the objection of the UN Security Council. The US position is that North Korea can’t opt out of the treaty and Bill Clinton was reportedly prepared to bomb North Korean nuclear facilities until Jimmy Carter brokered an agreement that North Korea subsequently violated. https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005-05/features/npt-withdrawal-time-security-council-step
I don’t know what the fine print int he NATO charter says. But it is not clear that treaty signatories always have the option to abrogate any treaty. I am sure Nazi Germany would have liked to opt out of the Versailles Treaty and Mexico would have like to have abrogated the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.
Two idiot countries.
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