Finland study to assess the possible impact of NATO membership. The final report is planned for spring. The Russian foreign Ministry stressed that no decisions have been made and Helsinki adheres to neutrality since the end of world war II. Experts also agree that Finland is unlikely to seriously think about joining NATO.
Finland commenced work on the preparation of a formal evaluation of possible consequences of the country’s accession to NATO. This was reported in the Ministry of foreign Affairs. Work will be carried out in preparation of the report on the foreign and security policy of Finland.
“There were allegations that the current government of Finland no decision on this subject will not accept”
Why Finland in NATO?
As RIA “Novosti” with reference to the Finnish broadcasting company Yle, for the formulation of this assessment was assigned four specialists. Finland will be represented by the head of the Foreign policy of the Institute Teija agriculture and the environment and former Ambassador to Russia and Germany rené Nyberg.
The work also will involve former Swedish Ambassador in tel Aviv, Helsinki and London mats Bergquist and Chairman of the International Institute for strategic studies and the Geneva centre for security policy françois Heisbourg from France.
It is assumed that the assessment of prospects of possible accession of Finland to NATO will be ready in the spring.
In Russia, stress that at the moment no decision on the accession of Finland to NATO is not. This was stated on Friday by the first Deputy head of the Russian foreign Ministry Vladimir Titov, Recalling that the Helsinki adheres to neutrality since the end of world war II.
“As far as I know, there is no official study there. There are some public discussions… No decision on this point is not accepted, and were even statements that the current government that is in power there, no decisions on this subject will not accept,” – said Titov.
We will remind, conversations on possible accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO have been going on for a long time. In August 2014 the Finnish and Swedish authorities have increased the level of relations with the Alliance, allowing the rapid reaction force NATO to conduct exercises on its territory. This step was motivated by the Ukrainian crisis and Russia’s role in it. Last summer for the same reason, the military command of Finland increased responsiveness to emerging crises and strengthened the defenses of the Eastern borders of the country.
In September it was reported that the number of Swedish nationals in support of the state’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance, four months rose by 10%, and as a result public opinion was divided in half.
In Finland last spring in the parliamentary elections won by the opposition party Sipilä “Center” – the enemy of the country’s accession to NATO.
In summer, the head of the defense Ministry of Finland Jussi Niinistö has offered to create, together with the armed forces of Sweden, a kind of alternative to NATO. However, in January the Prime Ministers of Finland and Sweden Juha Sipilä and Stefan löfven in a joint statement, spoke out against joining any military alliances.
“Both Finland and Sweden are not part of military alliances. We believe that this serves us well and is an experience to be taken into account when assessing actual threats. It also contributes to maintaining stability and security in Northern Europe as a whole,” they said. The heads of government said that “not chose a line isolation” and is working with other States and organizations, including with NATO.
Experts agree that to even talk about hypothetical chances of Finland’s accession to NATO premature. Senior consultant St. Petersburg Baltic centre for social studies, a political scientist Oleg Andreev called calmly to the plans of Finland. According to him, this issue arises regularly in the country since the 90-ies in political and expert circles.
“In the Scandinavian countries in General and Finland in particular, there is a small group of right-wing conservative politicians who are tough and have a negative attitude to Russia and to varying degrees, are trying making a big fuss about, especially in discussions among themselves,” – Andreev said the newspaper VIEW.
The expert predicts “no major movement” neither Finland nor Sweden joining NATO.
The similar point of view adheres to the head of sector of regional problems and conflicts of the Department of European political studies, IMEMO RAS Konstantin Voronov, who stressed that the expert opinion was preliminary and that the standard procedure adopted in the Western countries, should be treated calmly.
“The Commission will consider all factors in the extent of its competence. They come out for some streamlined solutions. I do not think that it will be announced “to join or not to join”. This decision will be on the conscience of the political leadership,” said ravens newspaper VIEW.
Even if the result of the work of the Commission will be given harsh assessment, it predicts the ravens, this is unlikely to encourage Finland to join NATO. “The main thing here is public opinion. It will include, as now perceives the threat landscape, feeling himself somewhat aggrieved. This is more important. The Commission reflects in some degree only the concerns of the expert community”, – said the expert.