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International lawyer: Finland and Sweden joining NATO may raise interesting questions

Finland and Sweden have already had the opportunity to join NATO once all the necessary conditions are met, not to mention that the two countries are located in the North Atlantic and have long had good relations with the alliance and its members. Nor should it stand in the way of their fulfilling NATO’s military and political commitments, given its value-based cooperation. But it is also important that their economic conditions are favorable to the development of a large force and the maintenance of their present forces, which are arguably relatively dangerous in Europe, recalls Norbert Toth, the international lawyer.

According to him, the obstacle to their membership in NATO so far is their lack of social support, which has also permeated the world of politics. This is mainly due to the position of Finland, and also because of the position of the Swedes, especially Russia, and in the past the European Union towards the Soviet Union, they saw fit to move away from NATO in order not to humiliate their eastern neighbor. Now, however, the Russians have embarked on maneuvers, both political and military, including not only aggression against Ukraine or the relatively usual violations of Finnish and Swedish airspace, but also threats to both—which have shifted public sentiment in the two countries, and politics is responding. Norbert Toth believes:

In addition to their supposed ability to join soon, they will be welcomed into NATO.

Since NATO is a “closed club”, Finns and Swedes do not have to apply to join. The official course of accession is that the main political decision-making body of NATO, the North Atlantic Council, in which all the current 30 member states are represented, unanimously invites countries that express their intention to join informally, that is, informally, through channels. International lawyer.

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He also noted that NATO is a military-political cooperation focused primarily on the North Atlantic, the security of the European continent, with two European countries (the United States and Canada) as members. The principle of the association, enshrined in Article 5 of the organization, is that in the case of (international law Casos Federes), in the event of an external armed attack, NATO may exercise collective self-defence for the benefit of the attacked Member State or its members.

According to Norbert Toth, the accession of Finland and Sweden, which have technically well-equipped forces that are constantly innovating, will certainly enhance the military security capabilities of NATO, which will serve as an envelope for Russia in terms of security. More importantly, it would have another land border of great length – across Finland – with the Alliance.

The expert also noted that the issue will be interesting for the Baltic, since the Russian Kaliningrad region opens here, and St. Petersburg also has a direct exit, since the Russians regularly carry out sea and air operations. But even the archipelago has been mentioned in international law, the Aland Islands, formerly called Northern Gibraltar because of their importance. It belongs to Finland, even though it has regional independence and the majority of its residents are native Swedish speakers. However, since 1856, it has received permanent neutrality (neutral status), which means that no troops can be deployed here, which, interestingly, are supervised by the Russian Consulate.

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“Therefore, there are issues that have already been written down in this situation, which are likely to further deteriorate the relationship between Russia and NATO, while strengthening the position of Finland and Sweden,” the expert emphasized.

Editorial image: Mikael Sjoberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images