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Finland wants to join NATO, and Putin will be mad.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland is set to release an official assessment Wednesday of how its security environment has changed. The assessment, known as a white paper, will not advocate for or against membership in NATO but will be used as a starting point for parliamentary debate as the country weighs a historic shift in its defense posture. Currently, Finland and neighboring Sweden are officially nonaligned militarily. But Russian aggression has led to a dramatic shift in public sentiment in both countries. As a result, both countries are now expected to request membership in NATO in the coming months. Their potential accession would reshape European security and draw outrage from the Kremlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin used NATO expansion as a pretext to invade Ukraine. Now, his brutal war there may bring the military alliance ever closer to his doorstep. Wednesday’s white paper marks the start of the process for Finland. A recent poll found that support for joining NATO had jumped to 68 percent in Finland. If Finnish membership comes to pass, it would be yet another blow to Russia’s prestige and influence.

What is NATO?

NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a military alliance of 28 member countries. The organization’s primary goal is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. Finland has a long history of non-alignment, but the country’s security environment has changed dramatically in recent years due to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. As a result, Finnish public opinion has shifted in favor of joining NATO. There are several reasons why Finland should join NATO:

1) To strengthen its defense capabilities: Finland would gain access to NATO’s vast military resources, which would significantly boost its own defense capabilities.

2) To deter Russian aggression: By joining forces with other like-minded countries, Finland would send a strong message to Russia that it will not tolerate aggression or interference in its affairs.

3) To deepen cooperation with fellow European nations: Finland is already an active participant in various European Union (EU) initiatives and by joining NATO it would deepen its cooperative ties with both EU member states and other NATO allies.

4)To promote stability and peace in Europe: As a member of NATO, Finland could play a more active role in promoting stability and peace on the continent – something that is very much needed given the current security situation in Europe.

How would Putin react if Finland joins NATO?

If Finland joins NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely react with anger and frustration. This would be a major setback for his efforts to keep the Western military alliance out of the Baltics and other former Soviet republics. Putin has long considered NATO expansion to be a security threat to Russia. He has repeatedly said that he would view any attempt by NATO to place troops or bases near Russia’s borders as a hostile act. In 2014, when Ukraine began talks about joining NATO, Putin annexed Crimea in response. If Finland joins the alliance, it would put additional pressure on Sweden to do likewise — something that Putin fervently opposes.

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