Finland and Sweden Joining NATO: Consequences for Russia's National Security

166
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-10-19-29
EDN: MLEMOR
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.
A. Chechevishnikov, alc0202@gmail.com
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.

Received 30.04.2023. Revised 26.05.2023. Accepted 26.07.2023.

Acknowledgements. The article has been supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation. Project no. 20-78-10159 “The Phenomenon of Strategic Culture in World Politics: Specifics of Influence on Security Policy (On the Example of the States of the Scandinavian-Baltic Region)”.


Abstract. The accession of Finland and, in the foreseeable future, Sweden to NATO shapes a new strategic and international political reality in the Scandinavian-Baltic region. The “Nordic balance” and the idea of this space as a “region of eternal peace” are irretrievably becoming the things of the past, posing a set of new challenges and threats to the Russian Federation. Russia has always taken into account the gradual withdrawal of Sweden and Finland from the policy of neutrality/non-alignment and their transformation into de facto associate members of NATO, although considered the threat of formal Alliance’s northern expansion as insignificant in the short and medium term. However, it is obvious that since February 2022, the arguments of doubling the length of Russia’s border with the alliance and the compelled military-technical response in this case have ceased to be considered in Sweden and Finland as significant in foreign policy and defense planning. The purpose of the article is to analyze the current security situation in the Scandinavian-Baltic region, scenarios for the accession of Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Alliance, and possible consequences for Russia. The methodological basis of the article is scenario analysis. The first and the most likely scenario assumes more active relations with the Alliance (increase in the number and scale of military exercises, strengthening of the eastern border of Finland, expansion of the Baltic Air Policing mission to Finland, etc.) without a significant increase in military deployment and infrastructure. Two other scenarios, which are possible with the further deterioration of the European security system, allow the deployment of nuclear weapons in the region as the last resort, although this seems extremely unlikely today. However, even in the case of accession in accordance with the first scenario, the Russian Federation might face a whole range of threats and challenges, including, but not limited to, the deployment of missile defense infrastructure and nuclear-capable weapon systems, an improvement of the conditions for strengthening the NATO’s military activities in the Arctic, the possibility of transferring a large amount of Sovietdesigned military equipment to Ukraine by Finland, etc.

Keywords: Finland, Sweden, NATO, Scandinavian-Baltic region, military non-alignment, NATO membership, European security system, Russia’s national security


REFERENCES

1. Voronov K.V. Nordic Neutralism: Historical Finale or a New Transformation? Contemporary Europe, 2018, no. 1 (80), pp. 80-89. (In Russ.) Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.15211/soveurope120188089

2. Voronov K.V. Security Modus Operandi of the Northern Europe. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 82-89. (In Russ.) Available at: https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-1-82-89

3. Voronkov L.S. “Northern cooperation” and Features of Northern European Integration. Moscow, MGIMO-University, 2016. 340 p. (In Russ.)

4. Voronkov L.S. Sweden and Finland and NATO Free from Military Alliances. The International Affairs, 03.17.2017. (In Russ.) Available at: https://interaffairs.ru/news/show/17125 (accessed 15.04.2023).

5. Plevako N.S. The Security of Sweden and NATO: Road with Obstacles. Scientific and Analytical Herald of the Institute of Europe RAS, 2023, no. 1 (31), pp. 26-35. (In Russ.) Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.15211/vestnikieran120232635  

6. Plevako N.S. Swedish and Finnish Neutrality. In the Past? Scientific and Analytical Herald of the Institute of Europe RAS, 2022, no. 2 (26), pp. 24-31. (In Russ.) Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.15211/vestnikieran220222431

7. Plevako N.S., Gromyko Al.A. On the Sweden’s and Finland’s Optional Membership in NATO. Contemporary Europe, 2016, no. 2 (68), pp. 13-16. (In Russ.) Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.15211/soveurope220161316  

8. Korunova E.V. Detente Crisis and New Confrontation: a Challenge to Sweden’s Non-Aligned Policy. Prepodavanie istorii i obshchestvoznaniya v shkole, 2022, no. 7, pp. 15-28. (In Russ.) Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.47639/2074-4035_2022_7_15  

9. Korunova E.V. From Eventual Neutrality to Non-Aligned Policy at the Initial Stage of the Cold War: the Swedish Experience. The Journal of Education and Science “Istoriya” (“History”), 2021, vol. 12, no. 7 (105). (In Russ.) Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.18254/S207987840016461-6  

10. Kilin Yu.M. Neutral States at the Crossroad: the Issue of Sweden and Finland’s Membership in NATO. Contemporary Europe, 2017, no. 2 (74), pp. 65-76. (In. Russ) Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.15211/soveurope220176576  

11. Zverev Yu.M., Mezhevich N.M. Regional Security Challenges: the Baltic Vector. The International Affairs, 2021, no. 1, pp. 28-43. (In Russ.) Available at: https://interaffairs.ru/virtualread/ia_rus/12021/files/assets/downloads/publication.pdf (accessed 15.04.2023).

12. Khudoley K.K. Lanko D.A. Finnish Security Dilemma, NATO and the Factor of Eastern Europe. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 13-20. (In Russ.) Available at: https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-3-13-20  

13. Volovoi V., Batorshina I. Security in the Baltic Region as a Projection of Global Confrontation between Russia and the USA. Baltic region, 2017, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 18-29. (In Russ.) Available at: https://doi.org/10.5922/2079-8555-2017-1-2  

14. Vezhlivtseva N.Yu. Finland’s Neutrality as Part of Its National Identity. MGIMO Review of International Relations, 2019, no. 2 (65), pp. 86-100. (In Russ.) Available at: https://doi.org/10.24833/2071-8160-2019-2-65-86-100  

15. Kislitsyn S.V. Military and Political Cooperation of the United States with Finland and Sweden in Modern Times. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. International Relations, 2018, vol. 11, iss. 4, pp. 376-389. (In Russ.) Available at: https://doi.org/10.21638/11701/spbu06.2018.404  

16. Parsi T., Stranne F. Sweden Is the Land of Ikea, ABBA – and China Hawks. Foreign Policy, 24.07.2023. Available at: https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/07/24/sweden-is-the-land-of-ikea-abba-and-china-hawks/ (accessed 25.07.2023).

17. Lynch L. Joining the West. International Politics and Society,16.06.2022. Available at: https://www.ips-journal.eu/topics/future-of-social-democracy/joining-the-west-5995/ (accessed 15.04.2023).

18. Nordenskiöld T. The Government in Secret NATO Meeting in Finland. Expressen, 11.04.2022. (In Swed.) Available at: https://www.expressen.se/nyheter/regeringen-i-hemligt--nato-mote-i-finland/ (accessed 15.04.2023).

19. Ek V. Saab CEO Says Swedish NATO Entry Would Open Door to Inner Circle. Bloomberg, 22.04.2022. Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-22/saab-ceo-says-swedish-nato-entry-would-open-door-to-inner-circle?leadSource=uverify%20wall (accessed 15.04.2023).

20. Schake K. In Vilnius, NATO Got Two Wins and One Big Loss. The Atlantic, 16.07.2023. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2023/07/vilnius-nato-summit-sweden-turkey-ukraine/674721/ (accessed 20.07.2023).

21. Dahl A.S. US Policy in the Nordic-Baltic Region. During the Cold War and After. Stockholm, Santerus Academic Press, 2008. 116 p.

22. Pyykönen J. Nordic Partners of NATO: How Similar are Finland and Sweden within NATO Cooperation? Helsinki, Finnish Institute of International Affairs, 2016. 138 p. Available at: https://www.fiia.fi/en/event/nordic-partners-of-nato-how-similar-are-finland-and-sweden-within-nato-cooperation (accessed 15.04.2023).

23. Wieslander A. What Makes an Ally? Sweden and Finland as NATO’s Closest Partners. Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 2019, vol. 17, pp. 194-222. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1057/s42738-019-00019-9  

24. Osborn K. F‑35 Operates as ‘Elevated Sensor’ to Destroy Cruise Missile. The National Interest, 16.07.2021. Available at: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/f-35-operates-‘elevated-sensor’-destroy-cruise-missile-189872 (accessed 15.04.2023).

25. Osborn K. The F‑35 Strengthens Its Role in Missile Defense. The National Interest, 30.11.2021. Available at: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/f-35-strengthens-its-role-missile-defense-197241 (accessed 18.04.2023).

26. Nurmi L. Estonian Defense Minister to Iltalehti: Finnish and Estonian Missiles will Create a NATO Barrier in the Gulf of Finland. Iltalehti, 12.08.2022. (In Finn.) Available at: https://www.iltalehti.fi/politiikka/a/0932ec99-89e7-4f85-8a6e-e39dbb43da79 (accessed 15.04.2023).

27. Nurmi L. The Government’s Proposal on NATO Membership: No Restrictions on Nuclear Weapons in Finland. Iltalehti, 26.10.2022. (In Finn.) Available at: https://www.iltalehti.fi/politiikka/a/79b81501-689d-4ad8-bf69-c6aabab71985 (accessed 20.04.2023).


SOURCES

1. NATO 2022 Strategic Concept. Adopted in Madrid on June 29, 2022. Available at: https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/2022/6/pdf/290622-strategic-concept.pdf (accessed 15.04.2023).

2. The Defense Committee’s Security Policy Report 2023. Government Office, Ministry of Defence, 19.06.2023. (In Swed.) Available at: https://www.regeringen.se/contentassets/de808e940116476d8252160c58b78bb7/allvarstid-ds-202319.pdf (accessed 20.07.2023).

3. Turkey Urges Sweden to Act over Terrorism for NATO Membership Support. Reuters, 21.07.2023. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/world/turkey-urges-sweden-act-over-terrorism-nato-membership-support-2023-07-21/ (accessed 24.07.2023).

4. Erdogan Suggests Turkey May Ratify Sweden’s NATO Bid Latest in Fall. Bloomberg, 13.07.2023. Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-07-13/erdogan-suggests-turkey-may-ratify-sweden-s-nato-bid-latest-in-fall (accessed 20.07.2023).

5. Press Statement Following the Meeting between Türkiye, Sweden, and the NATO Secretary General. NATO Official Website, 10.07.2023. https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_217147.htm (accessed 20.07.2023).

6. Annual Exchange of Military Information Under 2011 Vienna Document. Finnish Defense Forces (Puolustusvoimat). Valid on 01.01.2023. Available at: https://puolustusvoimat.fi/documents/1948673/2014902/CBMFI23.pdf/082adc2c-4a8d-7d53-3809-ea81e98d6015/CBMFI23.pdf?t=1672404827995 (accessed 15.04.2023).

7. The Military Balance 2023. International Institute of Strategic Studies, London, 2023. 576 p.

8. Final Reports on Deepened Defence Cooperation between Finland and Sweden. Unclassified Report by the Finnish Defence Forces and the Swedish Armed Forces. Government Offices of Sweden. Available at: https://www.regeringen.se/globalassets/regeringen/dokument/forsvarsdepartementet/final-reports-on-deepened-defence-cooperation-between-finland-och-sweden.pdf (accessed 15.04.2023).

9. Sweden Becomes First non-NATO Partner with Patriot. United States Army, 23.11.2021. Available at: https://web.archive.org/web/20230724220729/https://www.army.mil/article/252241/sweden_becomes_first_non_nato_partner_with_patriot (accessed 15.04.2023).

10. Finland Bought American F‑35 Fighters. RIA Novosti, 11.02.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: https://ria.ru/20220211/vooruzhenie-1772294389.html (accessed 15.04.2023).

11. Lapland First to Receive New F‑35 Fighter Jets. Yle.fi, 30.05.2022. Available at: https://web.archive.org/web/20230724220825/https://yle.fi/a/3-12466265 (accessed 15.04.2023).

12. F‑35 Lighting II. Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, last updated 31.10.2021. Available at: https://missiledefenseadvocacy.org/defense-systems/f-35-lightning-ii/ (accessed 15.04.2023).

13. The State Department Said that the US is Waiting for a Shift in NATO’s Approach to the Arctic after the Expansion of the Alliance. TASS, 18.10.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/16081225 (accessed 15.04.2023).

14. Joining NATO, Joining the Cause: Finnish Aid to Ukraine. Oryx, 05.09.2022. Available at: https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/09/joining-nato-joining-cause-finnish-aid.html (accessed 15.04.2023).

15. Gotland Regiment (P18). Swedish Armed Forces, last updated 03.11.2021. Available at: https://www.forsvarsmakten.se/en/about/organisation/training-units-schools-and-centres/gotland-regiment-p-18/ (accessed 15.04.2023).


For citation:
Chekov A., Vorotnikov V., Chechevishnikov A., Yakutova U. Finland and Sweden Joining NATO: Consequences for Russia's National Security. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 10, pp. 19-29. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-10-19-29 EDN: MLEMOR



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexed

 

 

 

 

Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies

 

Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 5
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Are There Any Ways to Break Through the Korean Nuclear Impasse?
  • Contemporary U.S. Taiwan Policy: Balancing on the Edge
  • The Gulf Monarchies’ Vision of the Global Order Transformations and the Russian Place in It
  • At Post-Soviet Space
Submit an Article
INVITATION FOR PUBLICATION
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.