vara bungas: FI un SE mīņājas uz NATO perona, skatās viens uz otru, NATO vilciens stāv, gaida, durvis vaļā.. FI saka SE: “Nu, mēs zinām, ka jūs gatavi kāpt iekšā, bet vai nebūtu labāk abiem kopā turpināt stāvēt te uz perona, jo biļetes mums tā kā ir, bet pastāv iespēja, ka konduktors un daļa pasažieru var mūs nieielaist vagonā, vilciens var avarēt utml priekš kam riskēt ar iekāpšanu priekšlaicīgi, vilciens gan jau neaizbrauks. Mūsu gatavība un biļetes ir svarīgākas par pašu braucienu. Apspriedīsim vēl mūsu brauciena motivāciju, lai kāds nepaliek uz perona bez kompānijas”. Nudien, loģika dzelžaina kāpēc stāties NATO? Labāk pulēsim savu gatavību iestāties. Neviens par to nedusmosies.
mašīntulkojums no SE valodas (izcēlumi-VB):
[..] Finnish politicians, officials and security policy commentators follow Sweden’s NATO debate closely. Sweden’s foreign and security policy choices have always had a significant impact on Finland’s international position. Sweden’s NATO relationship is not an exception.
The Sweden Democrats’ decision to support the so-called NATO option is therefore of particular interest to Finland as well. The NATO option has been an essential part of Finland’s NATO policy over the past quarter century. Finland, like Sweden, has developed a deep technical interoperability with the transatlantic alliance NATO. In recent years, the political relations between Finland and NATO have also intensified. The main focus of cooperation has shifted from crisis management to national defense. Here, the security policy situation in the Baltic Sea region and Northern Europe plays a role in the change.
Finland participates actively in NATO exercises on common defense, and in dialogue with the Alliance on current security policy issues in Finland’s immediate area. Sweden’s NATO policy has been the same, albeit with much greater popular support for membership than in Finland, but the option has been a question of where Finland and Sweden have differed. Now this can change, when a parliamentary majority says yes to the NATO option.
The NATO option, which is repeated repeatedly in Finland’s important security policy documents, is both a domestic policy compromise between NATO friends and skeptics, and a soft deterrent. The purpose of the option is to remind Russia that Finland is prepared to apply for membership if it feels threatened. In other words, the option is a signal of Finland’s sovereignty over security policy issues.
However, the options line is not without problems. Three questions stand out. Firstly, we must have a clear view of how the security situation in Europe will develop in the future. In a bad security policy situation, it is not certain that NATO is willing to accept new members. All member states must give their approval for a new member to join the Alliance, therefore accession should take place during stable and favorable times.
Second, NATO makes its decisions by consensus, and processes are often slow and rigid. A smooth decision-making process is not guaranteed, although the key countries in the alliance show strong leadership. There are signals here that NATO has already made preparations and is ready for Finnish and Swedish membership should it be needed quickly in the face of an impending crisis. Part of this planning, which according to information has taken place at least since 2015, is that some major member states would publicly announce that bilateral security guarantees will take effect immediately, when Finland or Sweden announce their formal interest in becoming members of NATO. Whether this can be enforced is another question. In addition, it must be borne in mind that a majority of NATO members are also EU members, with Article 42 (7) of the EU Treaty on aid in war. But EU affiliation can also prove to be a problem. There may be some NATO members who could say no to membership due to EU policies pursued by an applicant country. In other words, even if the membership can feel like something Sweden or Finland can choose, it is de facto others who choose if they want the countries to become members.
Third, Finnish political leaders agree that Finland cannot join NATO without a referendum. Although the referendum is important for the legitimacy of the decision, it is a factor that would delay the speed of the process. It also opens up for the use of various advocacy and information operations against decision-makers and people, both in Finland and Sweden.
Summa summarum, the NATO option can be used as a deterrent, but it is not a miracle cure that automatically improves Sweden’s security situation. The development of interoperability with NATO, for example, is more significant. The most important thing, however, is that the country itself is an interesting partner, which has a genuine defense capability, and sufficient resources to also support others. In addition, one must be able to diplomatically ‘play’ the option on a security policy game plan that changes, often unpredictably.
With that said, it would be good for Finland and Sweden to harmonize security policy. The countries have deep bilateral defense cooperation and are already an important part of the Western defense system in Northern Europe. The bilateral interaction should always include a dialogue on NATO issues, thus Finland and Sweden can help each other communicate their interests and positions regarding NATO.
Although Finland and Sweden have some differences in terms of security policy, the countries have significant and heavy common interests.
Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Senior Researcher, Institute of Foreign Policy of Finland.
Matti Pesu, Senior Researcher, Institute of Foreign Policy in Finland.