NATO Members to Hold Drills With Finland as Helsinki Mulls Joining Alliance

by | Apr 26, 2022

NATO Members to Hold Drills With Finland as Helsinki Mulls Joining Alliance

by | Apr 26, 2022

Finland will soon host naval drills alongside NATO members Estonia, Latvia and the Netherlands, its military said, following recent reports that both Helsinki and Stockholm could apply to join the North Atlantic military bloc as early as next month. 

Finland’s Coastal Fleet announced the upcoming exercises on Monday, stating that warships from the three allied nations would join local forces for two days of training in the Baltic Sea later this week. 

The drills will include Dutch and Estonian mine-hunting vessels, as well as a mine-laying ship from Latvia – all belonging to NATO’s Mine Action Division – and are planned to focus on mine “clearance” and “countermeasures.” Two Finnish Katanpaa-class mine-sweepers will also take part in the training.  

Planned since last year, the exercises will be conducted in the Archipelago Sea within the Baltic, around 330 miles from Russia’s coastal city of St. Petersburg, its second-largest metropolis.

The training mission will follow a NATO military meeting in Turku, Finland this week, and comes amid reports that Helsinki and neighboring Sweden are seeking to join the alliance. On Monday, local newspapers reported that both Nordic states could declare plans to apply for membership by mid-May, after Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson met with her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin to discuss the issue earlier this month. 

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has indicated both countries would be accepted with open arms should they submit membership applications, and could even be fast-tracked into the military bloc.

Historically neutral countries, Finland and Sweden have increasingly discussed NATO membership in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, with leaders saying the attack changed the “security landscape” in Europe and “dramatically shaped” opinion in the region. Recent surveys indicate growing support for membership, with some polls showing that up to 68% of Finns and 57% of Swedes are now in favor.

Russia – which shares an 810-mile border with Finland – has repeatedly warned against such a move, even vowing to station hypersonic and nuclear weapons in the Baltic region to restore military “balance” there. With Moscow busy fighting for control over eastern (and potentially southern) Ukraine, however, it remains to be seen how it would respond should the two nations join in the coming weeks as reported.

About Will Porter

Will Porter is assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute. Find more of his work at Antiwar.com and Consortium News.

Our Books

latest book lineup.

Related Articles

Related

News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/29/2024

Ukraine Democrats Signal They Would Protect Speaker Johnson If He Brought Ukraine Aid to Floor for a Vote AWC European Official Says Everyone Knows There Are Western Special Operations Forces in Ukraine AWC Senator Claims American Parts Found in Russian Weapons The...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/28/2024

Ukraine Hungary’s Parliament Ratifies Sweden’s NATO Membership AWC Washington Shipped Weapons to Ukraine Without Long-Term Sustainment Plans Defense Post CIA Built 12 Spy Bases in Ukraine Near the Russian Border Over Past Decade AWC Ukraine Military Intelligence Chief...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/26/2024

Ukraine Biden Calls Putin a ‘Crazy SOB’ AWC NATO Chief Gives Ukraine Green Light for Attacks Inside Russia AWC China US Congressional Delegation Led by House’s Top China Hawk Visits Taiwan AWC Israel  $14 Billion US Aid Package for Israel Crafted to Prepare for...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/22/24

Assange Judge In Assange Extradition Case Previously Worked For MI6 Declassified UK Ukraine US Officials See Ukraine as an Active and Bountiful Military Research Opportunity WashPo Ukrainian Commanders Say They Barely Have Enough Soldiers to Hold Back Russia AP China...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/21/2024

Assange Assange’s Wife, Lawyer Warn He Will Die If Extradited to the US AWC UK UK Nuclear Missile Test Fails FT Russia 70% of Americans Want Diplomatic Settlement to War in Ukraine RS Biden Nearing Decision to Send Long-Range Missiles to Ukraine NBC News Bulgaria...

read more
News Roundup 2/29/2024

News Roundup 2/19/2024

Ukraine Ukraine Withdraws from Key Donbas City of Avdiivka AWC Officials in Hungary Snub Congressional Delegation Pushing NATO Expansion NYT Israel Israeli Military Says Hamas Will Not Be Defeated in Gaza Offensive AWC After Call With Biden, Netanyahu Rejects...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This