Finland leaders seek to join NATO.

Niki Shah


Finland’s Government is seeking to join NATO, ignoring multiple threats by Russia and the countries’ previous neutrality agreement. This occurred as the country tried to strengthen  its forces following the unrest caused by Russia’s movement within Ukraine. The decision was announced on Sunday May 15th at a joint press conference by President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin. The Prime Minister and President continued on to say that the plan for Finland to formally request to join NATO has yet to be approved by the country’s parliament.


     Joining Nato would bring a US led military alliance to help guard the 830 mile border with Russia. There are major concerns with how long it will take the decision to get approved. Once Finland makes the official request to join, all 30 of the current members of NATO will have to approve this request. The decision also poses the risk of provoking Russia, whose president Vladimir Putin, told Finland’s President, Sauli Niinistö, on Saturday that abandoning military neutrality and joining the bloc would be a “mistake,” According to a Kremlin statement.

     Sweden has also expressed similar frustrations, and on Sunday the ruling of the Social Democratic Party announced the country should work toward joining NATO.  Also on Sunday, the Prime minister of Sweden called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “illegal and indefensible,” She also expressed concern of the possibility that Russia takes similar actions in their immediate vicinity.

    “And this is what Sweden now has to consider, and given this, we feel that Sweden needs the formal security guarantees that a NATO membership brings,” Andersson said during a press conference.

    Joining Nato would be a historic decision for both Finland and Sweden. Both Countries already meet most criteria for a NATO membership. Which includes but is not limited to treating minority populations fairly, committing to resolve conflicts peacefully, committing to democratic civil-military relations and institutions, the ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations, and having a functioning democratic political system based on market economy.