- Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and the country’s President Sauli Niinisto announced that they will officially submit their applications to join NATO.
- Finland- Russia Border – 1,300-km (810-mile)
- Finland gained independence from Russia in 1917 and fought two wars against it during World War Two during which it lost some territory
- Sweden has not fought a war for 200 years. Foreign policy has focused on supporting democracy and nuclear disarmament
- If Finland joins the NATO, it will be one of the quickest enlargements for the alliance as it shares border with Russia
- Russia’s second biggest city, Petersburg, lies some 170 km from the border with Finland. Finland and Sweden joining the NATO will mark an overhaul and redrawing of Europe’s security map in the East.
- Finland and Sweden joining the NATO will mark an overhaul and redrawing of Europe’s security map in the East.
- One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies warned NATO that if Sweden and Finland joined the U.S.-led military alliance then Russia would deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in a European exclave.
- Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said that if Sweden and Finland join NATO then Russia would have to strengthen its land, naval and air forces in the Baltic Sea.
- Medvedev also explicitly raised the nuclear threat by saying that there could be no more talk of a “nuclear free” Baltic – where Russia has its Kaliningrad exclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.
What is Kaliningrad exclave ?
- Kaliningrad, formerly the port of Koenigsberg, capital of Former East Prussia, lies less than 1,400 km from London and Paris and 500 km from Berlin
- Kaliningrad region is the fact that it is an exclave, separated from Russia by two countries, Poland/Belarus or Lithuania/Latvia, though with access across the Baltic Sea
- It is Russia’s only exclave and is the biggest in Europe.
- was home to the Soviet Baltic fleet; during the Cold War
- “No sane person wants higher prices and higher taxes, increased tensions along borders, Iskanders, hypersonics and ships with nuclear weapons literally at arm’s length from their own home.”
- “Nuclear weapons have always been kept in Kaliningrad . The international community, the countries in the region, are perfectly aware of this. They use it as a threat.“
:- Arvydas Anusauskas (Lithuanian Defence Minister)
- The Iskander, known as SS-26 Stone by NATO, is a short-range tactical ballistic missile system that can carry nuclear warheads.
- Its official range is 500 km but some Western military sources suspect it may be much greater.
- Turkey also accused the two bidding nations of harbouring “terror” groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), blacklisted by Ankara, the European Union and the United States.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country Russia “does not have immediate problems” if Finland and Sweden become members of the US-led military alliance North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), but if NATO will try to bolster military infrastructure in the New Nordic members then Moscow will react
- On Russia-Ukraine war Putin says the “special military operation” in Ukraine is necessary because the United States was using Ukraine to threaten Russia and Moscow had to defend against the persecution of Russian-speaking people.
- Conditions put forward by Finland, Sweden
- NATO diplomats say the application process of Finland and Sweden can take almost a year as parliaments of all 30 NATO countries need to approve new members
- Finland and Sweden have asked for some guarantees that NATO member nations would defend them during this period until they become full members
- Sweden and Finland have already received assurances from the US, Germany and Britain of support should they come under attack.
- The S. State Department said there was no change in Washington’s position and repeated that “NATO’s open door is an open door“, (despite Russian warning of addition of Sweden and Finland)
- “Without speaking to any countries in particular, we would not be concerned that the expansion of a defensive alliance would do anything other than promote stability on the European continent.“
:- Ned Price (US Department spokesperson)
- Russia has the world’s biggest arsenal of nuclear warheads and along with China and the United States is one of the global leaders in hypersonic missile technology. Any kind of War will lead to the biggest destruction in Europe After WW-2.