How Russia reacts to Finland’s plans to join NATO — RT EN

An analysis by Irina Taran, Maxim Lobanov and Alexey Latischev

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has stated that the Finnish side should be aware of the responsibility and the consequences of joining the North Atlantic Alliance. Because this accession would seriously affect the relations between Moscow and Helsinki as well as “the maintenance of stability and security in the northern European region”. According to the ministry, Russia will be forced to take both military-technical and other countermeasures “to limit threats to its national security that arise in this context.”

The President and Prime Minister of Finland recently announced that Helsinki must immediately apply for NATO membership. According to experts, this decision was forced under pressure from the US and the leadership of the NATO bloc, who want to create another outpost against Russia.

According to the Foreign Ministry’s statement, joining NATO means a direct violation of Finland’s obligations under international law.

“First of all – the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, which stipulates a commitment by the parties not to form alliances or participate in coalitions against the other side; and also the 1992 Treaty on the Foundations of Relations between Russia and Finland, which stipulates that the parties will refrain from the threat or use of force, against the territorial integrity or political independence of the other side and will not use or allow their territory to be used for an armed attack against the other side.”

The aim of NATO, whose members “emphatically convinced the Finnish side that there was no alternative to membership of the alliance”, is to expand further to Russia’s borders and thus provide another flank for a military threat to Russia create, said the ministry.

“What is the reason for Finland to turn its territory into a phase of military confrontation with the Russian Federation, while at the same time losing its independence of decision-making, history must tell,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation said that the statement by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin in favor of their country joining NATO marked “a radical shift in the country’s foreign policy represents”. The ministry emphasized:

“Neither Russia’s assurances about the absence of any hostile intentions towards Finland, nor the many years of good-neighborly and mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries have convinced Helsinki of the advantages of maintaining the military non-aligned course.”

Earlier, Niinistö and Marin issued a joint statement stating that there was an urgent need to apply for membership of the alliance, as NATO membership is said to “enhance Finland’s security” and the country’s membership in NATO is said to “enhance the overall defense alliance.”

“Finland should apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that the steps that are still required at national level for this decision will be taken swiftly in the coming days,”

says the statement by the President and Prime Minister of Finland.

In neighboring Denmark, the words of Niinistö and Marin were referred to as “determined”. According to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, whose statement was quoted by her office’s press service on Twitter, the Kingdom “welcomes Finland to NATO with open arms.”

“(This) will strengthen the alliance and our common security. Denmark will make every effort to comply with an examination of the application as soon as possible after it has been formally submitted,” Frederiksen said.

Approval for Finland’s North Atlantic aspirations also came from Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who assured Helsinki of the “full support of the German government”.

political context

As a reminder, on April 28, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would accept Finland and Sweden as members “with open arms” should they decide to apply. According to him, both countries are the “closest partners” of the alliance and their armed forces meet NATO standards. Stoltenberg also underlined that the accession process for the two Scandinavian countries would be quick.

According to Western media reports, Helsinki and Stockholm intend to submit their applications for NATO membership simultaneously early next week.

The US has also announced its support for Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty. During a May 2 briefing, US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby said that the “close ties” between the US, Finland and Sweden at the military level “may allow us to move on to a more substantive discussion of their defense needs.”

On the same day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated that the American side definitely supports “any decision made by the Finnish leadership and other parties regarding the relevant application”.

On the other hand, Croatian President Zoran Milanović opposed joining the two countries to NATO and told journalists that he would veto the membership of Finland and Sweden in the North Atlantic Alliance.

Milanović had previously explained his position by saying that in his opinion Finland’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance was a “dangerous adventure”. Especially since the country is close to St. Petersburg. He also takes the view that the national parliament should only ratify a state’s accession to NATO once electoral reform has taken place in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Speaking to journalists about Finland’s possible entry into the North Atlantic Alliance, Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov commented that further NATO expansion would make the continent “neither stable nor secure.” He said Russia’s countermeasures would depend on the extent to which the Alliance’s military infrastructure moved towards Russia’s borders.

“Part of the Aggressive West”

Sergei Ermakov, a leading expert at the Russian Institute of Strategic Research (RISI), believes it is no coincidence that the Finnish authorities have bet on joining the North Atlantic Alliance. The analyst commented to RT:

“Helsinki’s decision to join NATO was significantly influenced by active US and bloc calls to join the alliance, as well as propaganda conveying a negative image of Russia. Under all this pressure, the Finnish leadership intends to To act in the wake of NATO and to be part of the global and Russia-aggressive West led by the United States.”

However, Ermakov is convinced that Finland will lose its sovereignty after joining the military alliance. He said:

“On key security issues, Helsinki will be forced to act in tandem with its allies. This can often be to the detriment of the Finnish side itself. But then they will not be able to defend their position because nobody in the block will hear them – especially not the USA, which wants to assert its global dominance in the world at any price.”

According to Ermakov, Finland’s entry into NATO could bring additional military-strategic opportunities for the bloc, but also a lot of problems for Finland itself. The analyst stressed:

“The Finnish side will become another tool for the United States and the North Atlantic alliance to solve military-political issues, mainly within the framework of confrontational measures against Russia. Moscow will therefore be forced to respond to such challenges operationally, strengthen its borders and military infrastructure that will prevent free maneuvering of the armed forces of unfriendly states in the vicinity of Russian territory, betting on the latest types of future-oriented weapon systems.”

The expert at the Moscow International Institute for Humanitarian-Political Studies Vladimir Bruter also agrees that under pressure from the United States and the leadership of the Alliance, Finland decided to join NATO. Commenting for RT, the expert made the claim:

“Helsinki simply obeyed ‘big brother’ Washington, who made it clear what the Finnish side had to do. This was debated in NATO, according to which the entire civilized West should now stand on the same side of the barricades, that is against Russia. As far as relations with Russia are concerned, this is an issue of the highest priority for the US and the Alliance, and they believe that all of their allies should take the same unforgiving position.”

Bruter recalled that the border between NATO and Russia would double with the accession of Finland. And that, in turn, would mean that the number of potential threats to Russia’s national security would increase. The expert said:

“Finland’s entry into the alliance will have an extremely negative impact on international stability. This will create additional tensions, since another NATO flank will allow troops to be stationed near the Russian border. In other words, it will create another outpost against Russia.”

As Bruter explained, this will mean that Russia will be forced to strengthen the security of its borders with military-technical means.

“First and foremost, the Russian Federation will start moving units to the border with Finland,” the analyst assumes.

According to Bruter, Finland will be admitted to the alliance as soon as possible after the application. Because the USA and NATO are very interested in Finland joining the bloc. The expert concluded:

“This will take place without the lengthy procedures that NATO imposes on other countries. The American and NATO authorities will ask the Croatian president in this case to keep his opinion to himself – according to the West’s inherent liberal behavior pattern, he will be flat-out frankly Silence. With Finland coming into NATO together with Sweden. And all these issues could be resolved by the end of June or by the end of the year at the latest.”

More on the subject – In the sights of NATO – The accession plans of Sweden and Finland

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