Finland to Update Defense Policies

The Finnish government will declare updates to its foreign and defense policy today. Finland’s decision—a response to Russia’s continuing invasion

Finland to Update Defense Policies

Photo: Finnish Defense Forces

The Finnish government will declare updates to its foreign and defense policy today.

Finland’s decision—a response to Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine—will move the Finnish government to one step closer towards becoming an official NATO member, a long-debated notion in Finnish politics.

Expect the Finnish government to formally apply to become a NATO member during the early summer. The timing is right as there is considerable domestic support, and law-makers within the Finnish Parliament have called for immediate action to join NATO. This development will likely be followed by Finland’s neighbor Sweden as there has been direct talks between the respective governments regarding a joint plan of action. Prior to Russia’s invasion, Helsinki and Stockholm were keen on maintaining their neutrality to refrain from antagonizing Moscow.

Moscow in turn, will condemn these attempts and immediately retaliate. In this framework,  despite an internal economic crisis caused by Western sanctions, Moscow could further militarize its border region with Helsinki—and also its border with the Baltic countries— as a check against NATO’s expansionist policies. Moscow will however refrain from taking any radical steps—such as border incursions— during the long-term as it could not afford additional Western backlash and retaliation.

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