May 16, 2022: -Finland and Sweden have finally decided to join NATO will improve deterrence against Russia in northern Europe and add to the U.S.-led military alliance’s security, one analyst from Atlantic Council told CNBC on Thursday.
Her comments before Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced their country should apply to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “without delay.”
“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance,” they added.
Another announcement from Sweden is expected later this week.
“Sweden and Finland joining NATO will increase deterrence in the region due to the assets they will provide the alliance. And the ability to plan for Northern Europe’s security comprehensively,” said the Atlantic Council’s Northern Europe director Anna Weislander.
Membership in the political and military alliance will be a historic decision for Finland, sharing a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia. The Nordic nation adopted neutrality after its defeat by the Soviet Union in World War Two. Sweden was never a part of any military alliances for over 200 years.
Weislander said both the countries were well prepared to meet the oft-repeated political and military threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin, opposing their membership.
“President Putin and Russia have declared that there will be military and political consequences,” she said on “Capital Connection,” which added she expected more of such warnings in the coming days.
“We have prepared. We have moved military installations and expect [Russian] cyberattacks, electronic jamming, or more airspace intrusions,” she said, noting that both Sweden and Finland were members of the European Union.
“Sweden and Finland are solid democracies with sophisticated economies and will, therefore, also contribute to the underlying values of the alliance,” Weislander said.
The countries’ armed forces are experiencing high compatibility with NATO member states, she added.