Setting up NATO Bases in Finland; West’s New Alignment against Russia

Strategic Council Online - Interview: An international affairs expert believes launching US military bases in Finland was not unusual or unpredictable. By becoming a member of NATO, that country is committed to providing bases to NATO members, especially the largest NATO member, the United States.

Morteza Makki, an international affairs expert, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations regarding Finland’s agreement to provide 15 military bases to the US, said: After Russia attacked Ukraine, Finland, and Sweden, which had adopted a policy of neutrality for decades, applied for membership in NATO. Due to Turkey’s opposition, Sweden is still behind the gates of NATO for political reasons. However, Finland followed the path and entered that treaty as the 30th member of NATO.

He continued: Finland’s membership in NATO definitely means that it accepts all the military, security, and political structures of that treaty, and the creation of 15 US bases on the border of Finland and Russia, which share a 1,500-kilometer border, is considered as one of the consequences of Finland’s membership in NATO. Establishing those bases, which will undoubtedly be followed by the deployment of conventional and unconventional missiles in Finland, will intensify and widen the political, military, and security alignment between Russia and NATO.

Makki continued: Before Russia attacked Ukraine, European countries, Russia and the United States, within the framework of multilateral agreements, created restrictions on the deployment of unconventional weapons on the borders of both sides, but after Russia attacked Ukraine, all the security and military equations between Russia and the West changed, and we witnessed the military alignment of the two sides in a way that has practically turned Ukraine into a land for a proxy war with Russia.

The expert clarified that the establishment of the US military bases in Finland was not an unusual and unpredictable issue because when a country enters into a security pact, it accepts some duties and responsibilities, and being placed under NATO’s security umbrella definitely requires that bases be made available to NATO members, especially the bigger member of NATO, which is the US. NATO’s military structure is practically defined in the framework of American military policies, and the acceptance of NATO means the establishment of US bases in Finland.

In response to the question of what message Finland’s membership has for Russia, he noted that Finland’s membership in NATO and the establishment of NATO bases in Finland will make the security threats to Russia more serious. After the Russia-Ukraine war, Finland and Sweden concluded that the neutrality policy would not provide their security and stability.

Makki further added: The change in the relations between Russia and the West was created after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Finland’s membership in NATO and establishment of NATO bases in that country are consequences of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. As much as Russia is subject to comprehensive economic sanctions, it will also be subject to extensive military encirclement. Definitely, Finland’s membership in NATO will make the situation closer and Russia’s confrontation with NATO more serious.

Whether the war between Ukraine and Russia will change the direction, the expert said: The variables of the war in Ukraine are very wide, and whether the establishment of NATO bases in Finland has an impact on the war in Ukraine or not, it must be said that it definitely does not have a direct effect. Now, two important variables, i.e., the American elections and the war in Gaza, can be referred to in the issue of Ukraine. The war in Gaza has drawn all the attention to the Middle East region and caused the issue of Ukraine to be marginalized. In addition, there are serious doubts and differences within the European Union regarding the sending of financial and military aid to Ukraine, to the extent that the recent meeting of the European Union leaders in this regard is a concrete example of this difference, and Hungary has blocked the approval of a 50 billion dollar aid budget to Ukraine.

He added: Definitely, Russia’s war in Ukraine has changed all equations and calculations and political relations between Russia and the West for a long period, and those changes will gradually extend beyond the issue of economic sanctions. NATO’s military lineup on Russia’s western borders will become more serious and transparent. Previously, whenever the Americans wanted to establish a base in the countries of Eastern Europe and deploy anti-missile weapons in that region, they would take the political and military considerations of the Russians into consideration; even to divert public opinion, they sometimes used Iran as an excuse. They would argue that those bases were aimed at countering Iran’s missiles, but after the Ukraine-Russia war, they have no qualms about expressing their true intentions. Establishing 15 US military bases in Finland would definitely show that Russia and the US lineup have become more serious than before.

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