Finland Says It Reserves the Right to Join Anti-Russian Alliance

As is Russia's right to react in ways Helsinki won't find pleasant

Finland states it has the right to join NATO any time it damn well pleases:

Both Finland’s president, Sauli Niinisto, and prime minister, Sanna Marin, used new year addresses to underscore that the country reserved the option of seeking Nato membership at any time.

“Let it be stated once again: Finland’s room to manoeuvre and freedom of choice also include the possibility of military alignment and of applying for Nato membership, should we ourselves so decide,” Niinisto said.

Marin added in her separate speech that every country had the right to decide its own security policy, stressing: “We have shown that we have learnt from the past. We will not let go of our room for manoeuvre.”

Has Finland such a right? I would say that it does. But I think that official Helsinki needs to think through the full implications of what it is saying.

Imagine there exist two countries, let’s call them Germany and France. Imagine that they are hostile to each other, locked in a cold war, with repeated war scares. Imagine now that a small country bordering them, let’s call her Belgium, goes from being unaligned to forming a military pact with Germany.

Does Belgium have the right to do that? Of course. Sovereign countries have the right to enter treaties. But the other — more pertinent — question is, if that happens does France also have the right to react to this move? If Belgians opt to bring the German military to the French northern border would France be justified in reacting to this in ways downright unpleasant for Belgium? Facing the prospect of having to contend with the German military in two theaters would France be justified in going as far as to preemptively invade? It is difficult to say that France would be wrong to do so.

The problem is that Finland is obfuscating. Joining or not joining military coalitions isn’t a matter of “rights”. It’s a matter of survival.

What “rights” ought France (or Russia) be guided by when you make it a lifeboat situation for her?

NATO isn’t a knitting club or a beekeeping association. It’s a military bloc that finds purpose in A) bombing and dismantling “rogue” states (any weak state that the Empire detests) and B) isolating and posturing against Russia (a state that the Empire detests but is too powerful to bomb and dismantle). There are already 30 nations in NATO. Can Russia allow this number to keep rising and rising? No, not if it can do something about it.

Besides, Russia never told Finland it doesn’t have the right to seek NATO membership. Russia isn’t even talking to Finland. Russia is talking to DC to get the Imperial Capital to stop admitting new members. As Finland has the right to seek a military pact with the US, so the US has the right to deny Finland such an alliance. If Russia is trying to make a deal whereby Washington — as a concession to Moscow — stops adding countries to its anti-Russian coalition then where exactly are the Russians overstepping their bounds? Russia is asking Washington to do something that is within Washington’s rights. To scream that this is somehow encroaching on Finland’s rights implies that America uniquely in the world doesn’t have the right to decline alliance proposals.

Also another thing, Finland can say that NATO membership is only up to her, but 2008 and 2014 teach that Russia has discovered a way to stop potential NATO additions dead in their tracks. NATO founding papers preclude it from adding members with open border disputes. Russia’s demand that NATO gives ups ambition to add Georgia and Ukraine is really just theatrics since Moscow already ensured that can not happen years ago. All Russia needs to do to similarly prevent Finland’s membership is occupy some small chunk (eg 100km2) of its uninhabited northern forests.

  1. TZVI says

    Where in the heck is Marko getting the figure of 9,800 combat tanks from?

    After inspection via firefox it appears to be from Der Spiegel. Germany was Neutered a second time in 1990 is prohibited from having a large military, as a condition for reunification. I am not sure about exact figures, but Germany has less than 400 main battle tanks. If this 9,800 number is from the USA combined with Europe, we all know the USA wont send all it’s tanks to Europe, let alone the front, even in the event of a shooting war.

    Me thinks Der Spiegel is calming the nerves of the German population. “look we have 9000K tanks” which is not reality.

    I do not see Russia invading all of Europe, unless NATO decides to fight for Ukraine, which would be a disaster for the world.

    What matters is deployed assets for conventional warfare, ( eg what do they have close to Russia?) and anything that is in working order in terms of Missiles from anywhere. ( to include NBC).

    1. Field Empty says

      The image is symbolic.

  2. mijj says

    presumably, Russia reserves the right to act according to escalating threats.

  3. north says

    As a Finn, there is a constant barrage of NATO this and NATO that on the mainstream media here, portrayed always in a rather positive light of course. They cannot go full steam NATO hype though, because a significant part of finns are opposed to joining the NATO and instead look up to the cold war neutrality strategy as the preferable way. But the players are being maneuvered into place, for example, the new head of armed forces is a hard-boiled natoist who completed his military studies in an american military academy. And just recently, the decision was made to purchase american F-35’s, furthermore, the new assault rifles planned for the army are to be made in NATO-caliber, whereas the finnish army has previously always used russian calibers in small arms. So I’d say its not a question of if, but when.

  4. EstibenDelMar says

    Well, first of all, lets not forget december 1939 – 1945, Winter War, when Stalin unprovokedly attacked Finland. Finnes have the right to always be weary of their huge neighbour since the Russian Fed hasn yet acknowledged this war. On the other side, i think Finns have no intention to join Nato. They very well kow Nato is on the brink on collapse and cant don much against Mr. Zircon nor Mr. Poseidon and friends. So i reckon it’s calling RF’s attention to work this out bilaterally.

  5. GMC says

    Nato and their so called members are riding on the bloody shirt tails of WW II , where those members would have lost to Germany , had it been between them and Germany alone. Now these fruitcakes think Russia is Nazi Germany and the European countries think they are Saint George , getting ready to Slay the Dragon , but it’s the other way around. Russia will slay the Dragon – Again.

  6. nnn says

    Another European whore wants to go to war

    1. Micheal Petrovich says

      its very shocking. Finnland has allways been smart and wise , i don´t know what has happend.

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