The Kremlin’s options in responding to the alliance’s expansion are more limited than it might appear.
Countering a Swedish-Finnish bid for NATO membership has been a perennial Kremlin goal. That now looks to have failed as the countries seem poised to join.
Sweden’s prime minister and her Finnish counterpart are now strongly hinting that the two countries will join the alliance, and soon. So, what’s changed?
Gone is the notion that the Nordics should preserve a “special relationship” with an increasingly unpredictable Russia.
Nothing would signal European solidarity more clearly than to see neutral nations apply for NATO membership.
The United States, NATO, and regional players must work together to enhance political cohesion and create a unified security strategy for the Baltic Sea.
Finland and Sweden reject the Kremlin’s bullying, but resist a decision on NATO membership.
The security of the Baltic Sea region will continue to be determined by the climate of east-west relations and EU-NATO cohesion.
In the Baltic Sea region Russia has strengthened its quantitative and qualitative advantage.
The United States and its allies are in the process of a contentious, protracted, and belated effort to assess and respond to the threats from Russia and China, amid disruptive economic, technological, and public health challenges.