Finland Buries Its Past History of Neutrality
April 5, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Finland brought to an end the last vestiges of its history of neutrality yesterday with its accession to NATO. “Finland has today become a member of the defense alliance NATO. The era of military non-alignment in our history has come to an end. A new era begins,” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö declared in a brief speech at the accession ceremony on April 4. “Finland’s membership is not targeted against anyone,” Niinistö claimed. “Nor does it change the foundations or objectives of Finland’s foreign and security policy. Finland is a stable and predictable Nordic country that seeks peaceful resolution of disputes.”
After the ceremony, Niinistö told reporters at a press conference that Finland should pay attention to NATO regarding all aspects of security—including issues about terrorism, peacekeeping as well as Russia. “Russia will certainly be a threat for a long time,” Niinistö claimed. Niinistö also claimed that joining the alliance was not a major shift for Finland, but the end result of a consistent process.
Turkiye is still blocking the accession of Sweden, which is otherwise following the same path as Finland. “Reiterated our expectations for Sweden’s NATO accession to FM Tobias Billstrom. Effective cooperation against terrorism is a must,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a Twitter posting after meeting with Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom in Brussels. In fact, Finland’s first action as a member of the alliance was to deposit its ratification of Sweden’s membership with the alliance.
The move marks the sixth phase of NATO enlargement since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany, when NATO promised to not move “one inch to the East.”