Finland, Sweden Apply for NATO Membership, Angry Vlad Sends Nuclear-Capable Missiles to Border – Opinion

After decades of neutrality, first Finland and then Sweden announced plans to apply for North American Atlantic Treaty Organization membership. Russian President Vladimir Putin was immediately upset by the move and reportedly sent nukes to Finland’s border.


Sweden has said it will join Finland in bidding for membership of NATO, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted an ‘historic’ shift away from decades of neutrality.

Magdalena Andersson, the Swedish prime minister, announced the move on Monday – just a day after Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin tabled her own bid.

In return for Moscow’s assurances that they won’t attack, Sweden and Finland are bound by codes of neutrality.

On Sunday, a day before Sweden’s official announcement, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg applauded the idea in a meeting of foreign ministers of alliance members:

Putin would like Ukraine to be defeated and NATO disbanded. Ukraine remains strong. NATO is stronger than ever. Europe and North America have solidly united.

Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary announced that he would meet the Swedish Defense Minister at Pentagon in the latter part of this week.

Sergey Guneev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been openly opposed to the NATO applications, responded with a tantrum, reportedly moving mobile, nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to Russia’s 810-mile border with Finland Monday. Here’s the Sun

  • Mobile short-range missiles are capable of transporting cluster munitions as well as fuel-air-explosive enhanced-blast warheads.
  • The Iskander has a range up to 315 miles and can be used for anti-radar or bunker-busting missions.
  • The movement of the lethal missiles comes after Russia warned Finland and Sweden that their decision to join NATO was a “grave mistake with far-reaching consequences.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also opposed to the applications, saying on Monday that Sweden was a “hatchery” for terrorism, and even had terrorists in its parliament. “Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organizations,” Erdogan said. “How can we trust them?”

Russia is further provoked by the fact that 15,000 soldiers from 14 NATO nations will begin a massive military drill in Baltics. Soldiers from Finland and Sweden will participate in the exercise dubbed ‘Siil’ or ‘Hedgehog’ today, which will take place just 40 miles from the nearest Russian base.

Many here in the United States are questioning the wisdom and expansion of NATO. After all, one of Russia’s justifications for invading Ukraine was the encroachment of NATO towards its western borders.

Vlad had already been talking tough even before the applications were announced, saying helpful things like Russia could wipe out Finland in “ten seconds” if it wanted to, and that Sweden and Finland’s entry into NATO would certainly “trigger a response.” We’re apparently already starting to see what that response might look like.

NATO was an essential security bloc for the West after its inception following the Second World War. But is this making the world even more dangerous? We certainly wouldn’t let Canada or Mexico join a Russian security alliance; why would we think that Putin would take kindly to being almost surrounded?

You can keep poking the bear and it will eventually take your hand.

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