War appears to be on the horizon. We have Russia and China both threatening conflict. But right now it looks like a conflict with Russia will come before China. Russia is sitting at the border of Ukraine with somewhere in the range of 100k troops waiting to invade. Supposedly Russia is only holding off invasion until after the Geneva Conference this month. Their demands of kicking countries in eastern Europe out of NATO and stopping Ukraine from joining NATO are likely not going to be met. So February may bring war. But in the meantime, Finland thought it would be fun to mess with Russia and announce that they could join NATO whenever they please.
“Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö on Saturday reiterated his country’s right to join Nato if it wants to, in a dismissal of Russian demands for no further expansion of the Western military alliance near its borders.
“Finland’s room to maneuver and freedom of choice also includes the possibility of military alignment and of applying for Nato membership, should we ourselves so decide,” President Niinistö said in his New Year address.
Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin sought guarantees that Finland would not join Nato. In a statement released by the Kremlin, President Putin said Russian wants “international legal security guarantees” ruling out “Nato’s further movement eastward”.
“It’s clear that Finland’s president is a big fan of NATO and would probably support becoming a member, but it’s not clear that he needs to or would even be able to manage it. Finland already enjoys the highest level of “partner” status with NATO and has all of the trade advantages that go along with it. But they aren’t under the same level of mutual military obligations that full members are. Considering the very long border they share with Russia, putting them literally on the front lines of any potential conflict, they pretty much have the best of both worlds as things currently stand.
Also, Niinistö holds a position on this issue that is distinctly in the minority in his country. Recent polling indicates that 40% of Fins oppose joining NATO while only 26% support it.”
So Finland’s leader is literally saying this just to mess with Russia. Their country has no intention of joining, they just want to give Putin crap for making a demand that other countries are supposed to follow unconditionally. But this is an odd time to stir the pot. Russia seems to be revving up to start a conflict and Finland is also a bordering country.