September 30, 2022

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If Finland and Sweden want to join NATO, now is the perfect time

If Finland and Sweden want to join NATO, now is the perfect time

Russia correspondent Geert Grote Korkamp

“If Sweden and Finland had planned this a year ago, the country would probably have been too small and the news could have dominated Russian TV channels, but so far the official response in Russia has been noticeably tepid. Russia has previously warned that Finland and Sweden are the best Not to say that such a decision is “unwise” and that the accession of those countries to NATO would have serious consequences, but at the moment it is still not clear what concrete measures Russia can take.

A cursory glance at the map reveals that the implications for Russia are significant. Finnish and Swedish membership means that the Baltic Sea will practically become an inland sea for NATO. Apart from the part near the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and the coast near St. Petersburg, the Baltic Sea will be completely surrounded by NATO territory. NATO forces are also approaching Russia. The second largest city in the country, Saint Petersburg, is located only 130 kilometers from the Finnish border.

Unlike Ukraine, Finland is rarely mentioned in a historical context, although the country was once part of the Russian Empire. But Finland is viewed differently from, for example, former Soviet republics such as Ukraine. The language may change if NATO membership is really imminent. In the meantime, Moscow is considering a more comprehensive response.”

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