Finland’s Journey, From Neutral To NATO
- After applying in May, Finland became the 31st country to join The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on April 4, 2023.
- Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, replied to Finland’s NATO membership by saying, “Naturally, this forces us to take countermeasures to ensure our own tactical and strategic security.”
- An option to joining NATO for Finland could have been to build its own military capabilities and pursue greater collaboration with other European countries through structures such as the CSDP and NORDEFCO.
Points to Ponder:
why Finland has chosen to remain neutral:
- Finland’s fundamental goal is to ensure its security and territorial integrity. Finland avoids becoming involved in any disputes or wars with other countries by remaining neutral.
- Independence: Finland values its independence and sovereignty, and remaining neutral allows it to pursue its own foreign policy without being influenced or influenced by other countries.
- excellent relations: By being neutral, Finland is able to retain excellent relations with both Western and Eastern countries, which is critical to its economic and political interests.
- Domestic politics: Neutrality is popular among the Finnish people, and political parties have historically maintained it.
The Paasikivi Line:
Former Finnish President Juho Kusti Paasikivi devised the Paasikivi Line as a foreign policy strategy. After WWII, the strategy attempted to influence Finland’s foreign policy decisions and ties with the Soviet Union.
- During the Continuation War between Finland and the Soviet Union in 1944, the Paasikivi Line was established.
- The plan was founded on the notion that Finland needed to keep good relations with the Soviet Union in order to avert another conflict and defend its own sovereignty.
- The Paasikivi Line urged for Finland to adopt a neutrality and non-alignment policy, which meant that Finland would not join any kind of military coalitions or take sides in the Cold War.
- The plan also contained the concept of “Finlandization,” which referred to Finland’s willingness to make compromises to the Soviet Union in order to maintain positive ties and avoid conflict with the Soviet Union.
- The Paasikivi Line was successful in improving Finland’s relationship with the Soviet Union, which helped to stabilize the region and prevent another war.
- The strategy remained in place until the end of the Cold War, and Finland continued to maintain a policy of neutrality and non-alignment even after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Russian Response on Finland joining NATO
- Russia has promised to strengthen its military presence in the region in response to Finland’s membership in NATO.
- Russia also stated that Finland’s decision to join the West has violated a long-standing peace treaty between the two nations dating back to the Cold War.
- Russia has expanded military exercises in the Baltic Sea region, notably near the borders of Finland. Some have seen these manoeuvres as a show of might and an attempt to scare Finland and other neighbouring countries.
- Diplomacy: Finland and Russia could cooperate diplomatically to enhance their ties. They might convene high-level talks to examine their differences and explore ways to collaborate on mutually beneficial themes.
- Confidence Building Exercises: Finland and Russia could implement efforts to build trust in order to lessen tensions and strengthen trust between the two countries. Increased communication and transparency about military activity, joint military exercises, and cultural and educational exchanges could be among these initiatives.
- Economic collaboration: Finland and Russia could deepen their ties by increasing economic cooperation. Trade deals, joint investment ventures, and increased tourism could all fall under this category.
- Regional cooperation: Finland and Russia might collaborate in regional organisations like the Arctic Council to handle similar concerns and improve regional stability.