5 interesting facts about Finland and Sweden, countries that will join NATO. Photos/Illustrations
JAKARTA – After decades away from military alliances, Finland and Sweden announced an offer to join the NATO since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
Türkiye is the last member to ratify Finland’s entry into NATO. Finland is expected to finalize its membership status in the coming days. Meanwhile, Sweden still faces opposition.
During the process of joining NATO, there are a number of interesting facts to know. Some of them are related to the non-aligned movement to war memories.
Finland and Sweden Facts Join NATO
Here are five facts about Finland and Sweden joining NATO:
1. Support the Non-Aligned Movement
For decades, Finland and Sweden were countries that supported the non-aligned policy. However, their decision to support this was stopped because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In addition, the two countries have also conducted opinion polls on their citizens. Finland got 83 votes and Sweden got 63 votes of its population to join NATO.
2. Finland Leaves Sweden
Finland and Sweden had initially insisted on joining the joint alliance. However, because one of the conditions for joining the alliance must be ratified by all members, Sweden’s move was halted due to delays in ratification from Turkey.
With this in mind, Finland still decided to move forward to join NATO and leave Sweden. The stage that Finland is currently undergoing is depositing an “instrument of accession” in Washington to finalize membership.
3. Sweden Vs Türkiye
In 2022, Sweden, Finland and Turkey signed a trilateral memorandum at the NATO summit to secure the start of the accession process.
However, after the signing there were disputes between them, one of which was Turkey’s accusations against Sweden that it provided a haven for terrorism. Mainly members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Negotiations between the two countries were tough and were suspended in early 2023, after the process of burning the Koran and hanging a statue of Erdogan.
4. Lack of military forces
At the start of its independence, Sweden had a policy of increasing military strength to protect its neutrality from alliances. But after the cold war ended, the country cut its military spending.
It is recorded that Sweden can only field around 50,000 troops, while half of them are reserves. The same thing was also done by Finland which made cuts to its defense system.
Finland has a recorded population of 5.5 million and only has a wartime force of 280,000 troops plus 600,000 reserves.
5. A country that does not like war
Despite frequently sending troops on international peacekeeping missions, Sweden is a country that has not fought a war in over 200 years. While Finland only waged war in 1939 because it was invaded by the Soviet Union.
A friendship treaty was never made in 1948. The Soviets agreed not to attack this potential NATO member as long as it remained outside of Western defense cooperation.
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