For 77 years, since WWII ended, Finland has has a
800 mile long border with Russia and has stayed
neutral. Sweden has been a neutral for even longer.
But now Russia's belligerent invasion of Ukraine
has forced them to act, and they are likely to
'During a joint news conference with Johnson and Niinisto
in Helsinki, the Finnish head of state said Moscow could
only blame itself should his nation of 5.5 million people
become a NATO member.
“You (Russia) caused this. Look at the mirror,” Niinisto said
pointedly Wednesday. ---
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Finland and Sweden have
been pondering whether to abandon their historic, decades-old neutrality
and join the 30-member NATO. After Moscow launched its attack on
Ukraine, public support in the two countries started to quickly shift
toward membership in NATO, first in Finland and a bit later in Sweden.
The latest opinion poll conducted by Finnish public broadcaster YLE
showed earlier this week that 76% of Finns are in favor of joining NATO,
a big change from earlier years when only 20-30% of respondents favored
such military alignment.
Speaking to European Union lawmakers Thursday as Niinisto's and Marin's
announcement was made, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said that
“the war started by Russia jeopardizes the security and stability of the
whole of Europe.”
Haavisto said that Russia’s unpredictable behavior is a serious concern
for Finland, notably Moscow’s readiness to wage “high-risk operations”
that could lead to many casualties, including among Russians themselves.
Should Finland become a NATO member, it would mean the biggest change in
the Nordic country’s defense and security policy since World War II when
it fought two lost wars against the Soviet Union. Along with Sweden,
Finland joined the European Union in 1995 and has the longest border
with Russia out of all the bloc's 27 members.'