(CNN) – When Vladimir Putin His launched Invasion of UkraineHis goals were clear. He wanted to make the West think twice before breaking up its neighbor and consolidating Russian power in Eastern Europe before expanding its borders militarily and politically.
But at a key juncture, Putin’s plan appears to have failed: the war in January unleashed a united West against Moscow.
Now, Finland and SwedenOfficially non-aligned countries are nearing joining the US-led military alliance NATO.
That is expected Finland Prepare a report on the country’s security policy this week. Precisely, the key step in the path to potential demand for joining NATO.
The report is expected to start discussions about joining the coalition in Finland’s parliament, and Prime Minister Channa Marin said he hoped the talks would end “before mid-summer.”
On Monday, Finland’s Foreign Minister Becca Havisto said it was “important” for neighboring Sweden to follow a “similar process” and hoped it would take some time. “But of course we exchange information all the time. If we make similar decisions, we can do it at the same time,” he added.
Sweden will have elections later this year, with NATO being the main campaign issue. And the major parties may not oppose joining the coalition.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson has not ruled out the possibility of joining in an interview. S.V.T. At the end of March. Sweden is due to complete a security policy review by the end of May, and the government is expected to announce its position following the report, a Swedish official told the Associated Press. CNN. In addition, he said, depending on the situation in neighboring Finland, his country could soon make its position known.
Public opinion in both countries has changed significantly since the invasion, with allies and NATO officials generally in favor of joining the two countries. The only strong objection may come from Hungary, whose leader is close to Putin, but NATO officials believe Prime Minister Victor Orban’s hand may be twisted.
Cory Putin began his war by demanding that NATO shift its borders to where it was in the 1990s, which is considered a diplomatic disaster for Moscow. Putin will suddenly discover that Russia, in particular, shares an additional 1,300 km of border with NATO if Finland joins.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday that the NATO expansion would not bring much stability to Europe.
“We have repeatedly said that the alliance is an instrument of conflict. It is not an alliance that provides peace and stability, and expanding the alliance will certainly not lead to greater stability on the continent,” he said. Said.
Rob Bauer, head of NATO’s military team, told reporters on Tuesday that the coalition had not rejected the new members, but that it was up to Finland and Sweden to decide whether they wanted to join.
“Applying for any country wishing to join NATO is a sovereign decision, something they have not yet done … We are not forcing anyone to join NATO,” Bauer said.
What can come to NATO
Putin’s invasion has not prompted Ukraine to back down from its desire for greater integration with the West. Although the country is unlikely to join NATO, its efforts to join the EU have been accelerated since the start of the war. This will take a long time and will face fierce opposition from Hungary, which is already locked in a vicious war with Brussels for violating its legal rules, prompting the EU to propose a suspension of central funding for Budapest.
Again, this is being talked about and the level of support among EU leaders and officials is another indication of how united the West is against Russia.
It is noteworthy that since the beginning of the war, the West has largely remained united in its response to Russia, either through sanctions or military support for Ukraine.
However, there are some challenges ahead, which will test how united this coalition really is against Russia.
First, if Russia is found to have used chemical weapons in Ukraine, there will be great pressure on Western nations, especially NATO, to take a more serious role in the war, which the Coalition has so far been reluctant to do.
NATO members have already discussed the steps to be taken in the case of red lines and chemical weapons, but those details are still private to prevent Russia from taking preventive security measures.
However, any NATO intervention would lead to a less stable security situation in Europe because the West could launch a military confrontation with Russia, a nuclear power that would respond by intensifying its attacks on Ukraine and other traditional areas. Russian influence.
Second, the cost-of-living crisis in many European countries may soon test the similarity of future Western sanctions on Russia and sanctions on Russian energy.
In the end, if Western Europe’s economy is considered more important than Russia’s war on its peaceful neighbor, Putin can escape from occupying an innocent country.
But for now, it remains clear that Putin’s desire to discredit the Western coalition has retreated, largely because he has that unity, and that the strongman has earned Baria status for his country, perhaps for many years.
With information from Jennifer Hansler.