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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Finnish government officially announced its intention to join NATO on Sunday, as Sweden's ruling party was to hold a decisive meeting that could pave the way for a joint application.

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...Less than three months after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the move is a stunning reversal of Finland's policy on military non-alignment dating back more than 75 years.

Sweden, which has been militarily non-aligned for more than two centuries, is expected to follow suit with a similar announcement, possibly on Monday.

"Today, the President of the Republic and the Government's Foreign Policy Committee have jointly agreed that Finland will apply for NATO membership, after consulting parliament," Finnish President Sauli Niinisto told reporters at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sanna Marin on Sunday.

"This is a historic day. A new era is opening", Niinisto said.

Despite last-minute objections by Turkey, NATO members are on "good track" in their discussions on welcoming Sweden and Finland into the Western military alliance, Croatia's foreign minister, Gordan Grlic Radman, said as he arrived for talks with NATO counterparts in Berlin.

Finland's parliament will convene to debate the membership proposal on Monday.

"We hope the parliament will confirm the decision to apply for NATO membership during the coming days. It will be based on a strong mandate", premier Marin said.

An overwhelming majority of Finnish MPs back the decision after Marin's Social Democratic Party on Saturday said it was in favour of joining.

"Hopefully, we can send our applications next week together with Sweden," Marin had said on Saturday....


#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-15 11:39 AM | Reply

This is cool. Finland's military are winter fighters. They excel in capabilities that no current NATO countries can really touch. Hopefully they'll teach the alliance a thing or two.

#2 | Posted by madbomber at 2022-05-15 12:18 PM | Reply

@#2

I ran across this article...

Norway's chief of defense: Finland, Sweden in NATO 'opens up a lot of possibilities'
breakingdefense.com

... For decades, NATO member Norway's strategy for defense against Russian aggression was predicated on working around Sweden and Finland, two non-NATO nations.

Now, with Finland moving to join NATO and Sweden expected to swiftly follow suit, Norway faces a "totally different situation" for building its national strategy for both homeland defense and military investments, according the Norwegian military's top officer.

"We have to review all of our plans; we have to look at the investments," Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen, Norway's chief of defense, told Breaking Defense in a May 12 interview, just hours after Finland made its NATO move official. "We can plan in a different way with Finland and Sweden being NATO members, instead of partners. It opens up a lot of possibilities."

It also opens up new challenges, as Sweden and Finland joining NATO means Norway must now account for how to defend the entirety of Scandinavian Peninsula -- the physical landmass on which the three countries reside -- surrounded on three sides by water and one side by Russia.

"The only way to go from Scandinavia on land to the rest of Europe is through Russia. So if you look at the defense of the Scandinavian Peninsula, with Finland and Sweden being neutral, Norway always planned as an ally with NATO, and did not include the defense of the whole Scandinavian Peninsula," Kristoffersen explained.

"Once you integrate Sweden or Finland in NATO, one attack on one is an attack on all. That means that you can include all the defense planning for the defense of the whole Scandinavian peninsula," he said. "That of course changes, basically, the planning, because of geography."...


#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-15 12:54 PM | Reply

LOL Russia is toast.

#4 | Posted by Tor at 2022-05-15 03:00 PM | Reply

@#4 ... Russia is toast. ...

I'm not yet convinced I'd go that far.

One thing that does stand out for me --- Pres Putin seems to have made a significant mistake invading the sovereign country of Ukraine for two reasons:

1) the invasion is not going according to plan, but any stretch of the imagination.

2) the reaction of Europe to his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is also not going according to his plan or expectation. Indeed, his invasion has pushed Europe, specifically (for now) Sweden and Finland, to do the opposite of what he says he was working towards.


But I am not yet convinced that Russia is toast.

#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-15 03:45 PM | Reply

tHE UNNECESSARY WAR IN uKRAINE WON'T LEAVE rUSSIA AS TOA what this war is costing them in lives and money, They will be starving and freezing thus winterT BUT HOPEFULLY MAY LEAVE pUTIN AS TOat when Russians realizee what this war is costing them in money and lives. Russians will be freezing and starving yjis winter.

#6 | Posted by danni at 2022-05-15 04:04 PM | Reply

Sweden's ruling Social Democratic Party backs Nato bid
www.thelocal.se

...Sweden's ruling Social Democratic Party on Sunday said it was in favour of joining NATO, reversing its decades-long opposition and paving the way for the country to submit a membership application.

The turnaround comes amid soaring political and public support in Sweden for joining the Western military alliance after Russia's February 24th invasion of Ukraine.

The issue has divided Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson's Social Democrats, with some party members expressing concern that the decision was being rushed through.

The party said on Sunday that if Sweden's application were approved, it would work to express "unilateral reservations against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory."

The announcement came just hours after neighbouring Finland announced its official intention to apply for membership.

The two countries have expressed a desire to act in unison and submit their applications jointly, in a move seen as a deterrent against aggression from Russia....


#7 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-15 05:09 PM | Reply

Re: #5

Like Mark -----, predictions of Russia's demise are premature.

What is glaringly obvious: Russia's military prowess has proven to be the "man behind the curtain". To paraphrase an old saying: better to be thought militarily weak, than to invade a country and remove all doubt. Unfortunately, this military "adventure" by Russia was intended to at least partially assuage the humiliation the Russian people suffered after the collapse of the Cold War. Rather than the Russian people taking a hard look at their situation, they are more likely to "double down". After all, it is easier to duped people than it is to convince them that they have been duped.

#8 | Posted by TrueBlue at 2022-05-15 05:50 PM | Reply

Sooooooooo, what does Turkey get to vote yes?

As I mentioned the other day, the Turks are the Joe Manchin of NATO. Great country to visit, though. Especially Kastamonu. Helps to speak German.

#9 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2022-05-16 10:28 AM | Reply

@#9 ... Turkey ...

NATO expects Turkey not to hold up Finland, Sweden membership
www.reuters.com

...NATO and the United States said on Sunday they were confident Turkey would not hold up membership of Finland and Sweden in the Western military alliance, as the two Nordic states took firm steps to join in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine....

Turkey, which had surprised its allies in recent days by saying it had reservations about Finnish and Swedish membership, laid out its demands on Sunday on the sidelines of a meeting of foreign ministers in Berlin. Ankara said it wanted the Nordic countries to halt support for Kurdish militant groups present on their territory, and lift bans on some sales of arms to Turkey.

"I'm confident that we will be able to address the concerns that Turkey has expressed in a way that doesn't delay the membership," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declined to go into details of closed-door conversations in Berlin but echoed Stoltenberg's position.

"I'm very confident that we will reach consensus on that," Blinken told reporters, adding that NATO was "a place for dialogue".

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said talks with Swedish and Finnish counterparts in Berlin had been helpful. The two countries had made suggestions to respond to Ankara's concerns, which Turkey would consider, while he had provided them proof terrorists were present on their territory, he said.

He singled out Sweden in particular, saying the Kurdish militant group the PKK, banned as terrorists by the United States and EU, had held meetings in Stockholm over the weekend.

Nevertheless, he said Turkey did not oppose the alliance's policy of being open to all European countries who wish to apply....


#10 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-16 11:21 AM | Reply

More...

Sweden to send delegation to overcome Turkey's objections to NATO bid
www.hurriyetdailynews.com

...Sweden will send diplomats to Turkey in an effort to eliminate the Turkish government's objections to the Scandinavian country's plan to join NATO, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said on May 16....

There does seem to be some work that needs to be done in this area.

#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-16 11:23 AM | Reply

"NATO expects Turkey not to hold up Finland, Sweden membership"

LOL!

#12 | Posted by Nerfherder at 2022-05-16 11:29 AM | Reply

Turkey has a price; let's see what It is.

#13 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2022-05-16 12:33 PM | Reply

@#13 ... Turkey has a price; let's see what It is. ...

That's my view at this point as well.

From the article in #11

...Elaborating on his meetings with the Swedish and Finnish counterparts, [Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlt] Cavusoglu said, "They said that they see the PKK as a terrorist organization and that their stance will continue. There was a suggestion that we should do a study to address your concerns on other issues as well."

Cavusoglu applauded Finland's conciliatory approach but criticized Sweden for "provocative" statements during talks in Berlin on the two countries joining NATO.

There was no constructive stance coming from Sweden's foreign minister, he said and criticized the "negative" statements from Swedish officials. "The Finnish foreign minister is taking a more realistic stance," avuolu said.

The minister said he was waiting to see what guarantees would be offered by the two countries. ...



So, it is good that Sweden is sending a delegation to Turkey to talk and try to resolve this.

What I don't know at this point is whether this is the real reason why President Erdogan is playing the wild card, or whether there is something else that is not being discussed publicly.


#14 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-16 01:08 PM | Reply

A "Delegation" will not do squat.

Finland and Sweden will not join NATO. Joe Manchin has spoken.

#15 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2022-05-16 03:18 PM | Reply

Of course Finland is running to NATO. I guess they thought just being smug about democracy was going to protect them from Russia snatching off their panties.

It helps to have a friend or protector to punch them into the mouth.

#16 | Posted by boaz at 2022-05-16 08:50 PM | Reply

Of course Finland is running to NATO. I guess they thought just being smug about democracy was going to protect them from Russia snatching off their panties.
It helps to have a friend or protector to punch them into the mouth.

#16 | POSTED BY BOAZ

Of course Boaz is ignorant of Finnish history.

there is a reason why the scream of Hakkka Paalle! still runs shivers down russian spines.

You ever wonder why Russia didnt annex all of Finland after WW2 like they did with every other country?

Oh yeah, probably not as you are ignorant.

#17 | Posted by truthhurts at 2022-05-16 08:56 PM | Reply

The Finns do not need NATO. They are tough ombres. Russia got spanked when they messed with them before.

Turkey won't let Sweden join. Finland maybe.

The thing is, Finland would be better positioned staying neutral. They could be a sort of buffer between the two blocs. They could also help with diplomacy more if neutral.

Sweden is just a potential Free rider it will add little but make the Baltic like a NATO lake.

#18 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2022-05-17 12:28 AM | Reply

INSIDE RUSSIA

www.youtube.com

#19 | Posted by Corky at 2022-05-17 01:00 AM | Reply

"The Finns do not need NATO"

The general consensus seems to be that if you have Russia for a neighbor, you need NATO.

#20 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2022-05-17 05:16 AM | Reply

Finland doesn't need NATO. They know that if Russia's completely inept military (that some people insist is exactly like the Nazi juggernaut of the late 30s) ever invades them, America will lay down at the altar of its military industrial complex and fork over $40 billion to help them.

#21 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2022-05-17 08:53 AM | Reply

Neville Nerfherder has spoken!

If only more the world had had more of this attitude in 1940.....

#22 | Posted by Corky at 2022-05-17 03:19 PM | Reply

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