Former National Security Advisor Lord Darroch accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “massively misjudging” what would happen after he invaded Ukraine. He said that while he was “sure the Kremlin” will see Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO as “provocative”, the two Nordic countries “must be allowed to join NATO”.
He told Andrew Marr on LBC that it was “tough luck” for Putin, suggesting that he only had himself to blame for the recent developments within the alliance.
He said: “I’m sure the Kremlin will see it as provocative but this is one of the consequences of Putin’s massive misjudgement with his invasion, this appalling act.
“There’s just no stopping it. If these democratic western countries want to join NATO, of course, they must be allowed to join NATO.
“So, tough luck Putin. I’m afraid these are the consequences of your actions.”
Finland is expected to apply for NATO membership next week on May 12, according to anonymous government sources.
It is believed that Sweden will follow suit swiftly after, as they do not want to be the only Nordic country outside of the alliance – Norway, Denmark, and Iceland joined the pact as founding members.
But the process of ratifying membership of NATO can take up to a year, diplomats have said, and both countries are seeking security assurances in the meantime.
Both Finland and Sweden fear that Putin will retaliate, should they state their intention to join the alliance, while they are waiting to be accepted.
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Speaking in Copenhagen, Denmark today, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said: “The key issue is to keep the ratification process as short as possible. That would be the best security guarantee.”
The process requires all 30 member states to approve new members, and while it is not expected that any will object, the steps of approval are arduous.
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg promised last week that ratification will be done “quickly”, although he stopped short of providing any details pertaining to accelerated membership.
He said: “If they decide to apply, Finland and Sweden will be warmly welcomed, and I expect that process to go quickly.”
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Russia has made repeated threats of “serious consequences” should the two Nordic countries join NATO.
Moscow claimed they would strengthen their land, naval, and air forces in the Baltic sea and, again, raised the possibility of using nuclear weapons.
Russia currently shares a land border of 754 miles with NATO member states, according to the alliance’s own statistics.
But Finland shares an 810-mile border with Russia that the latter nation considers key to its national security, and should it become a NATO border, Russia would be surrounded on its western flank by over 1500 miles of alliance member states.