The situation is heating up between Russia and the West, with the risk of widening the scale of the ongoing war in Ukraine. The Swedish Ministry of Defense has denounced that a Russian reconnaissance plane violated Stockholm’s airspace, a situation that already occurred at the beginning of the conflict and could further accelerate the Scandinavian country’s accession to NATO.
Until the day before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there was no talk of joining the Atlantic Alliance in Sweden and Finland. But Vladimir Putin’s move changed the scenario. Both countries revised their security policies and quickly tried to join NATO. The issue has become central: Swedes and Finns, in recent opinion polls, have voted in favor of entry with a large majority. In addition, the two countries began to take an active part in the Ukrainian crisis, to the extent that Sweden sent ten thousand portable missile launchers to Kyiv.
So the invasion ended up putting pressure on NATO and accelerating the expansion of the Western defensive alliance. If Sweden and Finland join it, they will bring new military capabilities, starting with submarines and ultra-modern aircraft, which will increase the level of security in Northern Europe. One decision, but two countries with different histories. If Finland repelled the Soviet invasion during the first winter of World War II, and found itself on the side of Hitler until he decided to liberate himself, Sweden immediately opted for neutrality, facilitated by the fact that Hitler did not consider it objective. After the end of the war, Sweden tried unsuccessfully to form a Northern Defense Agreement with Denmark and Norway, but that failed because the Norwegians felt it was safe to form an alliance with the United Kingdom. Russia’s moves, which began in 2008 with the invasion of Georgia, gradually pushed Sweden and Finland into NATO, with a process of convergence accelerating in 2014, with the invasion of Crimea. The offensive that began on February 24 was the last step. And now the new concern.
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