Finland Joins NATO, Challenging Russia

The huge disproportion of power between Russia and Finland, which led the Nordic country to cede a third of its territory to its powerful neighbor first, then to a long period of neutrality, has just been rebalanced. The status of neutrality has not always been desired, nor in accordance with the wishes of its inhabitants. In the 1970s, at the height of the Cold War, when the icy streets of Helsinki were first visited, local guides, duly warned of the guest’s clearly Western affiliation, used to to refer to the Russian Embassy building as “our interior ministry”, an irony that described better than any other explanation the level of Soviet interference in Finnish politics.

Since this week, the Finnish flag has been flying at NATO headquarters in Brussels, alongside those of the 30 other countries that make up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In the words of President Sauli Niinistö, “the era of military non-alignment in our history is over, a new era is beginning”. Gestures and words that constitute a real liberation for the 5.5 million Finns, condemned for all these years to feign, in the name of neutrality, a political equidistance that they did not feel at all.

Russia’s arrogance in believing itself to be the absolute master of the destiny of neighboring peoples was made very clear in the statement by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, reacting to the Finnish flag-raising ceremony in Brussels: “This is an intrusion into our security and the national interests of Russia”. The Helsinki guides were therefore not far from the truth when they referred to the Russian Embassy as “our interior ministry”.

In a lesson in exquisite democratic maturity, it has not even occurred to the country’s political parties to use Finland’s NATO membership as an electoral weapon against their opponents, given the strong support that the initiative had collected over the past year. The new government, whoever it is, will have to define the extent of Finland’s participation in NATO, for example by determining whether or not it wishes to have permanent bases on its territory, or whether it will simply an occasional presence of joint support and combat units in the context of manoeuvres, exercises or mission-specific operations. There will be work either way, as Finland makes up more than half of NATO’s 2,500 kilometer direct border with Russia.

President Vladimir Putin

The decision will probably be made depending on the measures that President Vladimir Putin is about to take to counter this diplomatic snub. Whatever the decision of the head of the Kremlin, it will have to be taken into account that Finland is already under the umbrella of the famous article 5 of the treaty, according to which all member states of the Alliance will come to the aid of one of its members attacked by a foreign power.

What emerges clearly from the analysis of Russia’s behavior, both with Ukraine and with other European and Asian countries that it has placed under its thumb, is that it has rung the bell of alarm. This is the only way to interpret the shift of voters in the Nordic countries towards more conservative positions. In Finland itself, the conservative national coalition party led by Petteri Orpo, whose main electoral slogan is effective government, won, albeit narrowly.

He will have to deal with Rikka Purra, head of the Finnish list, who, in the latitudes of southern Europe, is assimilated to the extreme right, even if, like the Italian Giorgia Meloni, she supports without fails Ukraine’s defense aid and therefore considers NATO as the security and salvation of his country in the face of the methodical and systematic barbarism with which Russia is trying to seize a sovereign country such as Ukraine.

The political credit for joining NATO goes mainly and in any event to the social democrat leader Sanna Marin, who was kind enough to concede her defeat even before the polls closed. Her future could lead her to the European Parliament, or even to the European Commission, institutions that would be greatly strengthened by the firm convictions of this young woman from the best political vanguard, not only in Finland, but also in Europe.

This article is originally published on

Previous post Kentucky Adopts Worst Anti-Trans Law
Next post Portugal’s Chega Hosts Far-Right Global Summit