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Finland’s journey, from neutral to NATO

  • Published
    11th Apr, 2023

Context:

  • On April 4, 2023, Finland joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), becoming its 31st member.

What would change?

  • Partnership for Peace Programme- Cooperation between Finland and NATO began as early as 1994 with the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme.
  • Receive security guarantees- The main rationale behind Finland’s decision has been to receive additional security guarantees from NATO, which are specified in Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty.
  • Conventional deterrence- Finland’s NATO membership can be viewed through the lens of ‘conventional deterrence’.

Finland Relations with Russia:

  • Combination of struggle and compromise- For nearly 200 years, the relationship between Finland and Russia has been a combination of struggle and compromise.
  • Winter War - The Winter War of 1939­1940 between Finland and Russia lasted three and a half months; the Finns lost important portions of their territory but retained their independence.
  • Finland’s ‘neutrality- In 1948, the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance was signed between the USSR and Finland, outlining ‘Finland’s desire to stay outside the conflicts of interests between the great powers’. This came to be known as Finland’s ‘neutrality’.
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