What does Finland's accession mean for Nato?

Finland is now officially the 31st Nato member state. On Tuesday in Brussels, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto signed and presented the accession document to his US counterpart Antony Blinken, who will place it in safekeeping in Washington. Meanwhile Sweden's accession continues to be blocked by Turkey. Europe's commentators take different views of the enlargement.

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Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

A warning example

Finland has finally stepped out of Russia's shadow, Dagens Nyheter comments joyously:

“From now on Finland is no longer a Russian buffer state but fully integrated into the West. The collapse of the Soviet Union and [Finland's] accession to the EU - the spectre of Finlandisation died at the Nato headquarters in Brussels on 4 April 2023. This is historic, and should be celebrated by all those who campaign for the right of smaller countries to determine their own fate, to the chagrin of powerful neighbours. And it should serve as a reminder to all those who have put forward Finlandisation as a model for Ukraine's future, such as France's President Macron.”

Sme (SK) /

Making a mockery of Putin

Sme speaks of a symbolic, strategic and militarily significant redrawing of the European map:

“The Finn's accession to Nato is a significant shift. Historically, the Kremlin perceived Finland as so sensitive that although it didn't actually occupy it, it at least imposed a special economic and security model on it - keyword Finlandisation. Now Finland's large conventional army is in Nato, which can consider the Baltic Sea as its sea. Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] really has done a great job here!”

Delfi (LT) /

A new ally in the family

Finland's Nato membership is good news for Lithuania, writes Delfi:

“It is also important that Finland's defence priorities will largely coincide with Lithuania's, because the threat emanates from Russia. Doubling the length of the border between Nato and the aggressor means in a sense 'sharing' this threat. The priorities of Nato states do not always overlap; even in the context of open warfare by the Kremlin, the southern European states' expectation that crises in Africa and elsewhere will be responded to won't change automatically. ... It is therefore important to get as many like-minded people as possible around the table when negotiating Nato decisions.”

taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Not in good shape

Nato is only externally strong, if at all, the taz points out:

“Internally it is appallingly weak. This is demonstrated by the fact that Sweden still can't join. Turkish President Recep Erdoğan has imposed his veto and made extraneous demands of the government in Stockholm. ... In the midst of the war, the alliance is being blackmailed by Erdoğan. You don't have to go as far as to declare Nato 'brain dead', as French President Emmanuel Macron has done. But the alliance is not in best shape either. It tolerates autocrats like Erdoğan and seems paralysed when a member like Turkey exercises its veto.”

jinovsvet.blog (SI) /

Much ado about nothing

Finland's accession is of little importance from a global perspective, says Sašo Ornik on his political blog Jinov Svet:

“Western media and politics will portray Finland's accession as a great victory for the collective West. ... They will not mention that the country was already completely hostile to Russia. Nor will they mention that this shift means nothing on a global scale. ... It is clear that Beijing supports Russia and will not allow it to suffer a military defeat. There is less talk about the fact that the Global South, i.e. the majority of the planet, does not want to get involved in the war. ... In many places people even desperately desire a Russian victory because they expect it to put an end to Western pressure.”