It took Putin 81 days to get them into NATO

It took Vladimir Putin 81 days to intimidate our neighbors Sweden and Finland into NATO. Many Russia experts have tried to creep into the head of the Russian president in recent months. To interpret the man’s plans and opinions.

Putin had hardly imagined that the Ukraine war would lead to new NATO members from the north. Some diplomats at NATO headquarters in Brussels and in other member states still seem a little put off by what is happening. In record time, history has been written in Europe. In 1949, Sweden chose to stand outside the military alliance. In war, the country should be neutral. Finland, with its border with the Soviet Union and vital trade with the communist dictatorship, never had a choice.

Replacing a country’s security and defense policy is not something you usually do in a few weeks. The most recent new members of NATO, Northern Macedonia, Croatia and Albania spent years joining. Among other things, the countries must be able to afford to join NATO, and have a defense that can easily cooperate with other countries’ defenses. In NATO, it is called interoperability.

Releases the waiting room

Sweden and Finland get fast-track into the alliance, although there have been some bumps in the road in recent days. The plan is that the applications from Sweden and Finland will be sent in the next few days. Either together or separately. After a couple of weeks of formal treatment in NATO, perhaps as little as two weeks, the NATO ambassadors will sign a protocol in Brussels. It invites countries as members, but Sweden and Finland are still not full members. Therefore, Article 5 of the NATO Treaty does not apply to them, the whole point of NATO. If one is attacked, then everyone stands up for it. Only used once in history. Following the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001.

DOUBLE HISTORICAL: Not only will Magdalena Andersson forever be known as Sweden’s first female prime minister, but also the one who brought Sweden into NATO. Photo: JONAS EKSTROMER

In recent days, Turkey has created chaos with statements that could block the shortcut into NATO, as Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has added. This is because all NATO ambassadors must sign this protocol.

Turkey will use the membership case to get Sweden and Finland to impose restrictions on arms sales to Turkey. Because Turkey is in conflict with the Kurds, countries, including Norway, have restrictions on selling weapons to Turkey.

In addition, Turkey wants the two candidate countries, especially Sweden, to crack down harder on the activities of the Kurdish organization PKK. Turkey claims that the two applicants house and support terrorists. Both the EU and the US have the Kurdish Workers’ Party, PKK, on ​​their terror list.

ZERO ENLARGEMENT: Vladimir Putin does not want Ukraine or other countries to join NATO.  In record time, the military alliance gets two new members.  Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / NTB

ZERO ENLARGEMENT: Vladimir Putin does not want Ukraine or other countries to join NATO. In record time, the military alliance gets two new members. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / NTB

On Sunday, everyone, except Turkey, toned down this surprising obstacle on the road to history’s fastest entry into NATO. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg smoothed over and pointed out that in NATO one is happy to agree in the end.

Extends the “gray zone”?

The point is just that Sweden and Finland are busy. From the moment the application is sent and until full membership is in place, the two countries are extra vulnerable. For cyber attacks or border violations, for example, from the country that is the reason why they are applying to join NATO. Stoltenberg’s goal is for this “gray zone” to be as short as possible.

Many countries have already promised the two Nordic neighbors security insurance, Norway included. Help and support if Russia chooses to show power.

SOON ANY?  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to block Swedish and Finnish membership of NATO.  Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg believes that the obstacle is out of the world.  Photo: ADEM ALTAN / AFP

SOON ANY? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to block Swedish and Finnish membership of NATO. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg believes that the obstacle is out of the world. Photo: ADEM ALTAN / AFP

NATO will probably soon agree with Turkey, so that their ambassador can help open the door for Sweden and Finland. After that, approval remains in 30 different parliaments. Many countries have promised express treatment there as well, even during the holiday season. Still, this will take time. Some countries have more extensive consultation rounds and procedures for such. When Northern Macedonia became a member in 2020, it took a year to get the matter through in all the parliaments of the NATO countries.

It will be a triumph for NATO to celebrate full membership for Sweden and Finland at the Madrid Summit at the end of June. The general secretary suggested this weekend that it will probably be more realistic to celebrate towards the end of the year, maybe even over the New Year.

Then the answer to the quiz question will be; 2023

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