One of the many consequential outcomes of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is most likely going to be that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will be expanding its alliance of member nations from 30 countries to 32 as both Sweden and Finland are slated to join the group as soon as this upcoming summer.
“U.S. officials said NATO membership for both Nordic countries was ‘a topic of conversation and multiple sessions’ during talks between the alliance’s foreign ministers last week attended by Sweden and Finland,” stated a report from The Times. “Finland’s application is expected in June, with Sweden expected to follow.”
“How can this be anything but a massive strategic blunder for Putin?” stated a senior official in America.
On Monday, Dmitry Peskov, the propagandist for the Kremlin, put out his response to this recent news by telling reporters, “We have repeatedly said that the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation and its further expansion will not bring stability to the European continent.”
Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Finland, stated at an earlier point this past month that the country’s choice to join NATO would be made “thoroughly but quickly” in this coming spring, adding that the reason for this was that “Russia is not the neighbor we thought it was.”
“If the president or I voiced strong opinions on the issue, it would be the end of the debate […] I believe it’s very important that all of Finland’s most central institutions are involved in the ongoing debate,” she stated.
“The secretary for Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic party, Tobias Baudin, told local media outlets that it was reviewing its international security policy, and would discuss whether or not to join NATO,” read a report from Newsweek. “That review should be complete within the next few months, he said.”
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, issued a threat, claiming that Russia would Issue an extreme response if the two countries made moves to join NATO.
“Clearly [the] accession of Finland and Sweden into NATO, which is first and foremost a military alliance, would have serious military-political repercussions that would demand a response from our country,” she asserted.
As reported by the Daily Mail near the end of March, in the middle of the heightened tensions between the joining countries and Russia, Russia chose to fly a group of military planes through an area that violated Swedish airspace, all while reportedly carrying nuclear-capable weapons.
The report read:
The flyover near the island of Gotland on March 2 was a deliberate act designed to intimidate Sweden, according to Swedish news channel TV4 Nyheterna.
A total of four planes had taken off from the Russian air base of Kaliningrad.
They consisted of two Sukhoi 24 attack planes, which were escorted by two Sukhoi 27 fighter jets.
It was the two attack planes which were, according to TV4 Nyheter sources, equipped with nuclear weapons.
The violation of Swedish territory lasted for about a minute.
The country’s air force deployed two JAS 39 Gripen which took pictures of the intruders.
It was then, say Swedish media, that it was confirmed the Russian planes were equipped with nuclear warheads.