The Finnish and Swedish entry into NATO is as good as a done deal. Putin said he invaded Ukraine because he feared NATO expansion. Now he’s got two more NATO members on his doorstep. Way to go, genius.

FNC: “The president and prime minister of Finland, a country on the border of Russia, released a statement backing an application for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Thursday amid the Kremlin’s aggression on Europe’s eastern flank, particularly in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman issued an ominous statement on the move.

Defense analysts say Finland and Sweden have modern and competent armed forces that would significantly boost NATO’s capabilities in Northern Europe. Finnish and Swedish forces train so often with NATO that they are essentially interoperable.

Adding new members typically takes months, because those decisions need to be ratified by all 30 NATO members. But in the case of Finland and Sweden, the accession process could be done ‘in a couple of weeks,’ according to a NATO official who briefed reporters on condition that he not be identified because no application has been made by the two countries.”

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security,” Finland President Sauli Niinistö and comely Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement. “As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance.”

“Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,” the Finns added. “We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

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Niinistö and Marin commented that Finland has had “an important discussion” on NATO, for which “time has been needed to let Parliament and the whole society establish their stands on the matter.” The country has also developed “close international contacts with NATO and its member countries, as well as with Sweden.”

“There is no going back to the status quo before the invasion,” said Heli Hautala, a Finnish diplomat previously posted to Moscow and a research fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

The Brits are joining in the party. “Today we made history by signing a joint declaration of solidarity to strengthen our security and defense ties and bring our nations even closer together,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said after meeting with his Swedish counterpart. “We are literally and metaphorically in the same boat.”

“What we are saying, emphatically, is that in the event of a disaster or the event of an attack upon Sweden, then the UK would come to the assistance of Sweden with whatever Sweden requested,” Johnson said after meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

Ivan is complaining. But after the Russian showing in Ukraine Moscow’s bluffs are not convincing. “Finland’s entry into NATO will become a threat to Russia,” Dmitry Peskov, press secretary to Russian President Vladimir Putin, told Russian media.”The next expansion of NATO does not make our continent more stable and secure.”

“Of course, all this will become elements for a special analysis and development of the necessary measures in order to balance the situation and ensure our security,” he added. Like what? Drowning yourself in another quicksand of a war?

This piece was written by David Kamioner on May 13, 2022. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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