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NATO Membership May Spell the End of Finland and Sweden as Social Democracies

C.J. PolychroniouTruthout, June 12, 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a godsend for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which had been declared “brain dead” by French President Emmanuel Macron as recently as 2019. Now, NATO has not only gained a new lease on life but also is expected to grow, with Finland and Sweden inching closer to NATO membership. In fact, Putin’s criminal attack on Ukraine has managed to keep Europe within the sphere of U.S. hegemony and thus to halt any aspirations that Europeans may have had of seeing the continent shift toward greater autonomy.

In the interview that follows, Finnish political scientist Heikki Patomäki provides a critical look into the reasons why Finland and Sweden have opted to join NATO and the potential consequences for Nordic social democracy. Patomäki’s views have been demonized for simply going against the frenzied dictates enforced by Western governments and the corporate media regarding proper responses to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Patomäki is professor of global politics and research director of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki. He is a member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters and author of scores of books and academic articles.

C.J. Polychroniou: …………………. Why does Finland want to join NATO? Is there really a security concern? What are the domestic debates surrounding its membership in NATO?

Heikki Patomäki: A simple but very incomplete answer is that the actions of Putin’s regime have caused Finland to join NATO…………… While a significant part of the political elite has favored Finnish NATO membership for years either publicly or privately, for the bulk of the population the main motivation is now primarily fear……………………………..What I hear now is Western Cold War mentality: The Russians are not only inherently bad but there may be no way we can ever cooperate with them again.

…………………………………The problem is not only that Finnish and Swedish NATO membership threatens to further escalate the NATO-Russia conflict. This decision will also reinforce the EU’s reliance on Washington. ………………………………….Current alliance formations and reformations are reminiscent of processes that led to the First World War. In the end looms the possibility of a global military catastrophe……….

Russia has threatened to retaliate over membership move on the part of Finland and Sweden. Why is Russia terrified of Finland in particular joining NATO, and how could it retaliate?

The Russian perspective is relatively clear. Russia has been opposed to NATO expansion all the way through………………

With increasing alienation between Russia and the neoliberal West in the 2000s, in Russia NATO has more and more often been framed as a security threat. Finland has more than 1300 kilometers (km) of border with Russia and is located close to its main centers, in particular St. Petersburg …………. membership may mean NATO military installations directly on the western side of Russia and an expansion of territory that would in effect be under U.S. military command in case of a war.

 The Russian military planners will have to respond by reorganizing their capabilities one way or another.

Nonetheless, the word “retaliation” in your question seems a bit too strong. ……………………

………………….Do you think that Finland’s decision to join NATO would undermine what is left of the social democratic model?

”……………………………………………………….. It seems to me that after their decisions to join NATO, Finland and Sweden are on the wrong side of history. For all I know, these decisions spell the end of the Nordic social democratic ideal.  https://truthout.org/articles/nato-membership-may-spell-the-end-of-finland-and-sweden-as-social-democracies/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=670b8dad-0c5c-4f27-8a01-24aefeb77660

June 14, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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