June 2, 2023

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Russia's doorstep .. This is how Finland and Sweden will change NATO in numbers

Russia’s doorstep .. This is how Finland and Sweden will change NATO in numbers

Finland and Sweden are close to merging NATOEspecially after the recent actions of both countries following the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

On Thursday morning, as expected, the President and Prime Minister of Finland made an important announcement Join NATO soon.

The Russian action in Ukraine is a reminder that Finland and Sweden cannot trust their eastern neighbors to respect their common borders, and the background to the two countries’ decision to join the alliance decades later is clear. The American newspaper “The Washington Post” published.

What does it mean to join this military alliance? How will their possible addition of power reshape the balance of power between Russia and NATO?

Common boundary

With the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago, we begin with the border issue, as NATO’s expansion over the west of Russia over time is one of the most important issues raising Moscow’s fears.

The decline prompted several former Soviet powers, including Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the Warsaw Pact, to join the alliance.

The inclusion of Finland in the alliance would extend the common border between NATO and Russia from about 440 miles (708 km) to more than 1,200 (1,931 km).

This will not naturally increase the chances of war, but a change that Finland believes will always prevent Russia from turning west.

Map of Europe (iStock)

Population and GDP

In parallel, the population of NATO countries is six times larger than that of Russia, however, the inclusion of Finland and Sweden does not change much.

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Economically, the GDP of NATO member countries by 2020 will be 27 times higher than Russia’s GDP.

After the addition of Finland and Sweden, the analysis shows that this is 27.6 times higher than Russia’s GDP.

Swedish tank (AFP)

Swedish tank (AFP)

Military spending

In addition, military spending is one of the main requirements for NATO members, as current members spend about 24.5 times more than Russia’s on its military.

The bulk of this cost goes to materials and technology, and in terms of troop size, the number of troops in NATO’s forces is 3.2 times greater than Russia’s.

In terms of the number of reserve forces involved, the margin is still shrinking as NATO is 1.7 times larger than Russia.

Finnish tank (AB) during a military exercise

Finnish tank (AB) during a military exercise

But if we add Finland and Sweden, the size doubles because Finland has a huge military presence.

Quick twist

It is noteworthy that Sweden was surprised by the rapid change in Finland’s position on joining the alliance, and it has traditionally been important for them to discuss important issues at length to reach a consensus.

However, Russia’s action in Ukraine has led to a sharp change in public opinion in both Finland and Sweden in favor of joining NATO, which has not received much support in the past.

Russian warships (iStock)

Russian warships (iStock)

If the two countries officially join NATO, the alliance will be directly on Russia’s border, and Finland’s member will double the length of NATO’s land border with Russia, which could raise questions about Russia’s response.

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