Russia’s military operation in Ukraine prompted a historic change in Finland and Sweden’s position on joining NATO, after they had remained neutral during the Cold War, in exchange for assurances from Moscow that Soviet forces would not invade their lands.
And in a renewal of its refusal to join Helsinki and Stockholm to the military alliance, Moscow considered that this step would push the northern regions of Europe into the furnace of war.
Nikolai Korshunov, Ambassador of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Chairman of the Committee of Senior Officials of the Arctic Council, expressed his country’s concern about the transformation of the Arctic region into what he described as an international war zone, saying that “the region is turning into an international theater of military operations and this is a very worrying trend.”
For his part, the director of strategy and armaments at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, and former NATO official, William Alberkey, believes that Finland and Sweden joining NATO will not have a significant impact or direct consequences on the war in Ukraine.
Alberki said in statements to “Sky News Arabia”, “The interesting question is the impact of the war in Ukraine on the Russian reaction to the expansion, it is likely that Russia will not have many missiles to send to the conflict zone, and that is why we saw the anti-ship missile system.” Bastion” in the Russian press, though not something they needed in the war on Ukraine.”
The former NATO official explained, “Russia will not have enough forces to send to the Finnish border, to do threatening exercises or send too many planes near Finnish and Swedish airspace, which is what Russia usually does to send angry signals.”
Earlier this month, the Finnish Ministry of Defense announced that a Russian army helicopter had violated Finnish airspace, and a spokesman stated that the helicopter was a “Mi-17” and had a depth of penetration “between 4 and 5 kilometers.”
However, Alberki noted that Finland and Sweden’s move will cause some anxiety for a while, but ultimately reduce the chances of war.
In turn, the American expert on strategic affairs and geopolitical issues, Irina Zuckerman, indicated that although the expansion of NATO and the entry of Finland and Sweden will not have a direct impact on Ukraine; As NATO did nothing for the war from the beginning, but indirectly it will expand its capabilities and improve the level of cooperation of each country with Ukraine, through the exchange of intelligence information, and logistical cooperation.
Tuskerman added, in statements to “Sky News Arabia”, that the accession of Helsinki and Stockholm to NATO will send psychological messages to the Kremlin as well as to the Russian army, and are seen as raising the morale of the Ukrainian forces, and will also make it difficult for Russian President Vladimir Putin to evade threats. This could include additional cross-border escalation or the placement of tactical nuclear weapons or missiles near European borders.
She emphasized that this, in turn, would make it easier for Western governments to provide additional military assistance to Ukraine without fear of reprisals.
The US expert explained that NATO expansion makes it more difficult for the Russian regime to expand the war effort beyond Ukraine’s borders, with more countries devoting to common defense in the event of an attack.
Article 5 of the Washington Treaty on NATO membership states that any attack on a member state of the alliance is an attack on all members.
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