Sweden joins Finland to join NATO

Since the end of the Second World War, Sweden and Finland have shared a common destiny in Europe. The two countries thus maintained a neutral posture throughout the Cold War, joining neither NATO nor the Warsaw Pact, and not even joining the European Economic Community despite a deep democratic culture and ties close links with the countries of Western Europe, and dramatic episodes such as the assignat of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, Stockholm and Helsinki joined the European Union jointly in 1995, but in the absence of a threat from the East, neither wanted to join NATO, the displayed neutrality corresponding perfectly to the expectations of public opinion in both countries. From the 2010s, and with the rise in power of the Russian army, a fundamental movement began to emerge in the two Scandinavian states in favor of such membership, without however imposing itself in majority in public opinion, and encountering certain hostility from part of the political class.

With the increasingly aggressive posture on the part of Moscow towards its neighbours, Stockholm and Helsinki have moved closer to their Western partners, including in the military field, without however crossing the Rubicon, while gradually, the two public opinions increasingly favored NATO membership. On the eve of the Russian attack in Ukraine, these were still divided on the subject, half of the Swedes and Finns declaring themselves in favor of such membership, the other half being opposed to it. The outbreak of hostilities on February 24, however, had the effect of an electric shock in the minds of the two countries, and a clear majority of Swedes and Finns, over 60%, have since declared themselves in favor of a their country's accession to the Atlantic Alliance, and at the end of last week, the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, publicly announced that she now intended begin parliamentary consultations for his country to join NATO.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (foreground) and her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin at the joint press conference this morning to announce the two Scandinavian countries' decision to join NATO

However, as in 1995, Finland wanted to initiate a common dynamic with its first partner and ally, Sweden, and that is why the Finnish leader traveled to Stockholm this morning to meet her Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, in order to define a common position on this subject. At the end of this meeting, the two countries announced that they were embarking on a joint approach to joining NATO, and this within a short timeframe, "within a few weeks" according to the Finnish Prime Minister, and " before the end of June" for his Swedish counterpart. Given the socio-economic and democratic indicators of the two countries, there is little doubt that this accession can be carried out quickly, a major imperative to prevent Russia from implementing retaliatory measures and excessive threats that could potentially prevent such a process.

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