Under an agreement with the Soviet Union, Finland remained outside the alliance created to contain Russia after World War II. It remained independent in the post-Soviet era, even after joining the European Union and growing more and more closely with the West.Until now, Sweden 200 years neutral..
However, that stance was abandoned shortly after Mr Putin decided to invade Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, in February. Finland and Sweden suddenly realized that the threat from Russia had changed and that their position as a bystander of the great power conflict was now at great risk.
The speed of the reversal was so fast that even some of Washington’s most experienced Cold War diplomats, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, felt that Russia was under siege, especially the country. If the effort to integrate the West with the West fails, it is likely to eventually be overwhelmed.
On Wednesday, Mr. Biden asked national security officials whether he would support the addition of Finland and Sweden to the alliance, and said they unanimously “strongly supported” the move.
The Rose Garden ceremony intentionally included the echoes of an official visit with a military band. Biden has characterized the move to lead Finland and Sweden into an alliance as almost formal, empowering the conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, which have been major NATO commitments over the last two decades. I paid attention to. “Meet all NATO requirements, then some” democracy.
Mr Biden argued that the two countries would increase the firepower of the alliance.
Finland has a sophisticated army that carries out complex operations to track Russia’s activities in the Nordic waters and spends a great deal of money on modern equipment. Sweden is a more difficult case. Sweden needs to dismantle some of its military power and, as Anderson admits, reorient its budget to spend 2% of its gross domestic product on NATO’s target defense.
But for the United States, the main usefulness of having the Nordic countries join the alliance is the message sent to Mr Putin. In December, the Russian President demanded that the United States and NATO sign a treaty to withdraw troops from former Soviet countries and limit training activities and the placement of weapons.