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Sweden and Finland to announce intention to join NATO

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Sweden and Finland to announce intention to join NATO

Sweden and Finland are expected to announce their intention to join NATO today as part of Finnish President Niinisto's visit to Sweden
Sweden and Finland are expected to announce their intention to join NATO today as part of Finnish President Niinisto’s visit to Sweden – Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Sweden and Finland are expected to issue a joint declaration of their intention to join NATO as part of Finnish President Saul Niinisto’s visit to Sweden today.

The joint declaration is largely a formality—Finland already indicated its intention to join and the Swedish ruling Social Democratic Party also decided in favor of membership.

By joining NATO, both nations will abandon their long-standing neutrality in international affairs. The Russian invasion of Ukraine contributed to a seismic shift in public and government opinion towards NATO membership. The membership of both countries would make a significant addition to NATO—allowing for easier reinforcement of the Baltic region. The region is geographically threatened by the Suwalki Gap – the narrow region between the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and the Belarussian border which represents the only land corridor from Poland to Lithuania.

Russia threatened retaliation should both countries join NATO. However, military action by either nation is unlikely during the transition period. The Russian military is occupied with its war in Ukraine and unlikely to have additional reserves for further action. Additionally, both Sweden and Finland already obtained security guarantees from the United Kingdom. Instead expect further economic coercion–already undertaken against Finland.

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Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su/Pool

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