Putin ‘shot himself in the foot’ with Nordic NATO applications
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Both Finland and Sweden have confirmed their intent to join NATO after decades of neutrality amid concerns about Russia’s potential military response. Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted both countries to shift their security policies and start a formal application to join NATO. Upon launching the war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin told Russians in a speech that NATO’s eastward expansion represented a threat to Russia and had to be stopped. Rear Admiral Chris Parry noticed that Putin has made the situation even worse with the invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to GB News, Mr Parry said: “he (Putin)’s significantly shot himself in the foot here.
“I think what’s really interesting here is that Vladimir Putin went to war in Ukraine to stop Ukraine (from) joining NATO and for lots of other reasons as well.
“But the last thing he would’ve wanted would be for Sweden and Finland, which constitute a major part of the Baltics, which is a real neurosis for Russia, to join NATO as well.”
Finland has formally confirmed it wanted to join NATO and Sweden’s ruling party, the Social Democrats, says it supports the country joining the military alliance. Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson still needs to secure the Parliament’s support for an application. Finland will also have to discuss NATO application in Parliament.
Putin tried to dissuade Finland from joining NATO in a phone call with Finland’s President.
“The end of the traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake since there is no threat to Finland’s security”, Putin said.
The move has apparently failed, as both Finland and Sweden are expected to move forward with their respective applications.
Mr Parry continued: “And if you think about the geography of the Baltics, the Russians during the Cold War dominated the whole eastern half of the Baltics Sea.”
“It would rely on Finland and Sweden for being neutral”, Mr Parry added.
“Now, they’re virtually going to have a NATO lake in the Baltic. All they’ve got left is Kaliningrad, that tiny exclave between Poland and Lithuania and the approaches to Saint Petersburg.
“And from Vladimir Putin’s point of view, that is a modern nightmare for them.”
Putin views neighbouring countries and former Soviet countries as a protection against the expansion of NATO, which he described in a speech as “an instrument of US foreign policy”.
In that same speech before launching Ukraine’s invasion, Putin said: “The problem is that in the territories adjacent to us – territories that were historically ours, I emphasise – an anti-Russia hostile to us is being created, placed under full external control; it is extensively settled by the armed forces of NATO countries and is supplied with the most modern weapons.”
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Mr Parry added: “The other neurosis of course is the Black Sea. And he’s tried to sort that out by seizing Crimea and destabilising and attacking Ukraine.
“That’s not going very well either.
“So, the twitch things that have really obsessed Russian strategists for the best part of 100 years and beyond – the Baltic and the Black Sea – are about to become Russia’s most vulnerable points.”
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