Sweden and Finland in Nato?

In an article published on Sunday in both Sweden and Finland, the prime ministers of the two states, Stefan Löfven and Juha Sipilän, stressed the importance of their countries' policy of neutrality. Where are they most secure: inside or outside Nato?

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Suomenmaa (FI) /

Non-alignment promotes stability in Baltic region

Suomenmaa, the newspaper of Finland's ruling Centre Party, agrees that non-alignment is the best option:

“According to the article Finland and Sweden's military neutrality is very plausible and contributes to stability and security in northern Europe. This is true and and cannot be repeated often enough. The situation in the Baltic region has not, as is often claimed, changed simply because of the increasing military strength and activities of Russia. It has also naturally been influenced by the expansion of Nato that resulted from the accession of four countries that border on the Baltic. Finland and Sweden's military neutrality has a calming effect on this constellation.”

Pohjalainen (FI) /

Only Nato offers adequate protection

The liberal daily Pohjalainen believes that Sweden and Finland would be better off as Nato members, contradicting the views of the prime ministers of the two countries:

“We should start looking for answers as to what the collaboration between these two small neighbouring states aims to achieve and as to which security problem they are reacting to. One potential threat is a dangerous situation that could culminate in a military crisis in the neighbouring regions. But no matter how hard one tries there is no indication that collaboration among small states provides as good a life insurance as Nato membership. The unique significance of Nato is its deterrent effect, thanks to which the areas on its borders have always been peaceful. ... In the end the Nato countries in the EU are only interested in the joint defence alliance. Small and non-aligned states are completely sidelined here.”