Putin's war is not going to plan as two new countries plan to join NATO
Russia has warned that joining will lead to the 'destruction of their country'
Finland and Sweden are set to join NATO as early as this summer as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.
Both countries are reconsidering their stance on NATO membership following Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.
Finland in particular is keen to join the alliance, with public opinion flipping on the matter. The country shares a land border with Russia and was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939.
It had previously preferred to organise its own defence, and remain relatively neutral on the international stage, but opinion polls in the country show a switch in public opinion towards NATO, with the majority now in favour of joining the alliance.
One recent survey found that 60 percent of Finns supported Finland joining NATO, a 34 percent increase from last autumn.
The Times: Finland, Sweden set to join NATO as soon as summer.
Officials are quoted as having said that Russia made a “massive strategic blunder,” as the two countries are forecasted to join the alliance in the coming months.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) April 11, 2022
The country is expected to apply for membership in June, The Times reports.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Russia is "not the neighbour we thought it was" but that there will be "very careful discussions" around the issue.
Meanwhile, Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has refused to rule out an application to NATO.
The country is undertaking a review of its security that is due to be completed by the end of April, and it is thought that they would follows the Finns if they joined NATO.
Finland is giving Sweden an incredible gift.
By going first on NATO membership, it has given Sweden the option of simply falling in line.
NATO membership has never been easier than this.
— Elisabeth Braw (@elisabethbraw) April 11, 2022
Sweden and Finland are the two closest countries to Russia in the Arctic Circle, and Russia has previously threatened "military consequences" if either joined NATO.
It was Ukraine's desire to join the alliance that prompted Putin to invade the country, with the Russian leader framing the invasion as an act of self-defence against the alliance's expansion.
Russian politician Vladimir Dzhabarov warned that Finland joining NATO would be a "strategic mistake," adding that he didn't think it was likely that "the Finns themselves will sign a card for the destruction of their country."
If Sweden and Finland were to join NATO, it would see the organisation's membership rise to 32 nations.
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