The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has given his approval to the support of the Finnish authorities for joining NATO, assuring that the accession of the Scandinavian country will “strengthen” the security of the military organization and promising a “smooth and fast” process. The former Norwegian prime minister has argued that Finland’s NATO entry will benefit all parties. “It will strengthen both NATO and Finland’s security,” said.
Finland is moving towards eventual entry into the Atlantic Alliance by finding a consensus among its authorities, a hypothesis that Russia sees as a threat that does not contribute to security in Europe and that NATO itself wants to favor quickly. On the other hand, as explained by the expert Kostas Maronitis to LA RAZÓN, “the possible accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO is a threat to the stability of Europe”.
Both the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, and the Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, today adopted the historic decision to support NATO accession and thus break more than eight decades of non-alignment.
“Finland must apply to join NATO without delay. We hope that the steps at the national level still necessary to make this decision will be taken in the coming days,” both leaders said in a joint statement.
According to Niinistö and Marin, membership in NATO – of which it is an associated country but not a member – would strengthen Finland’s security and, in turn, the Nordic country would strengthen the military alliance.
Why is Russia afraid of joining the Alliance?
Finland became independent from Russia in 1917 and currently both countries share 1,340 kilometers of border. He created his armed forces the following year, in 1918, and since then his military doctrine has remained unchanged: it is based on the concept of total defense. In this country, the military service it is mandatory since 1922 and its validity is not disputed. It lasts between six to twelve months, depending on the destination of the recruit.
Finland, with five and a half million inhabitants, it has 23,000 active soldiers and 900,000 in reserves. Of all the citizens of the country, about 1.9 million people are considered eligible for military service.
Finland spends approximately 6.3 billion dollars annually on defense. A budget greater than that of Belgium, Morocco and even North Korea, although the expense is lower than that of its neighboring country, Sweden, or Spain, according to data from Global Fire Power.
Finland has 192 total aircraft, including 55 combat aircraft, 20 helicopters or one special mission aircraft. As for ground force, it has 200 tanks, 2,090 armored vehicles or 63 mobile rocket projectors. Also eight patrol boats.