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Will Finland and Sweden fall into the NATO camp? | War in Ukraine

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According to Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, the political scene in the country is changing about joining NATO.

We have not made any final decision. We will evaluate how to proceedshe said after a meeting in Parliament.

Held behind closed doors, the meeting focused on a petition calling for a referendum on membership. With 50,000 signatures in less than a week, it had reached the threshold for automatic referral to Parliament.

I think the opinion of citizens is certainly changing and that of parties and their members is also changing, because of the evolution of our security environment.she said.

Ms Marin’s Social Democratic Party has traditionally been hostile to membership, while the right is more supportive.

Finland joined the European Union in 1995, but remained outside NATO.

Sweden increases its defense budget

For its part, Sweden is moving towards an acceleration of its armament. Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced that her government wanted to strengthen the country’s military capabilities and accelerate its rearmament already underway.

She announced that her government would further increase the amount of its military spending. We are not under direct threat of attack, but the overall threat level has increasedshe said.

Since the end of the Cold War, Sweden has steadily reduced its military spending. Parliament only agreed to challenge this policy after Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Sweden reintroduced compulsory military service in 2017. In October, the country announced a 40% increase in its defense budget, with an additional 27 billion crowns ($3.5 billion) between 2021 and 2025.

Combined with planned increases between 2014 and 2020, Sweden’s military spending has increased by 85%.

Partners with NATO

Finland and Sweden historically consider themselves non-aligned countries although they cooperate closely with NATO.

According to the site of the transatlantic alliance, NATO and Finland actively cooperate in peace support operations, organize joint training of their forces and exchange analysis and information. An important priority is to ensure interoperable capabilities, preserving the ability of the Finnish armed forces to work with those of NATO and other partner countries in multinational peace support operations..

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Moreover, the statements of the Swedish and Finnish governments in recent days have made Russia react. Moscow threatened to military consequences the two Scandinavian countries in the event of joining NATO.

Finland’s NATO membership would have serious military and political repercussionstweeted the Russian government.

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