So now it is offical, NATO lacks the cabability to, without shadow of doubt, to defend Baltic states in case of Russia future aggression. The piece was originally in Foreighn Policy, link HERE. If you cannot access the original then Euromaidan press has a link HERE, Unfortunate but true. Help from other parts of NBP9 would be needed to secure the Baltic states. Poland has taken great steps and taken strides to enhance her capabilitesin defense and also has made it clear that she will shift focus of her defense into eastern parts of the land. Also there has been talk of new submarines jointly purhased, and one hopes that Finland will find the cash to take part in these beefing ups as well.
Sweden has had a rude awakening and is still scrambling to put up something resembling a ground force in order to deter “snatch and grabs” of her Baltic Islands. Also Swedish commander in Chief said publicly Sweden can just about handle a week of fighting. This caused colossal shit storm in Swedish defense establishment but with the “Russian Easter” So although Swedish Navy and Air Force are in quite a good condition, her material capabilities are lacking. But I thing Sweden has seen the light and returns to more prudent defense spending, and maybe even takes back the conscription as well.
Mr Niinistö, President of the Republic and commander in chief of Finnish Defense Forces told embassadors stationed in Finland that Finland cannot, as “not be able to”, rather “not willing to” take part in defense of Baltic states. With about 60 fighters and Navy just about capable of guarding southern coastline, if one leaves Åland away from it, cannot be expected to bear the brunt of the fighting against technically and numerically superior Russian AF and Baltic Fleet. It is not in the cards currently. One has to remember that in Gergian war 2008 USN was not able to deter Russia nor is in now capable of challenging Russia in her close waters. There has to be MORE done by NBP9 to secure their place in the world
Also I want to impress upon you readers that Åland Islands are regarded as”neutral”, but Russia nor Soviet Union NEVER accepted/ratified this. So ålanders and westerners expect pick Finnish youth to pick up their chestnuts from the fire. One Baltics’ diplomat told “nor could his country be expected to help defend Finland”. I cannot help but to point out that: “Obviously, With what muscles?”
Internally Russia has somekind of stranglehold currently on Finnish Energy politics and Finnish government has twisted Fortum’s arm rather hardly to get Fortum into Nuclear Power business, even though Fortum got nothing out of the deal it wanted from Russian water power plants. This will only lead to narrowing maneuvering space for Finnish foreign politics. Future will tell what kind of threats President Putin made in august meeting with PoR Niinistö.
Also some people, maybe deep in conspiracy theories believe that Putin has somehow triggered the immigrant influx into EU from middle east to take interest from his dealings Syria and Ukraine. Maybe, but a bit hard to believe. But never the less Sweden’s non compliance of Dublin treaties and her governments decision of transporting refugees from Malmö to Finland for free has destroyed what little hope there was for Finnish economy. Major trade unions have been driven to frenzy partly by PM Sipilä’s Government, and maybe Social democrats have gotten some instructions From Russian Embassy, like in “good ole days”. (When EU parliament was woting about the Kohver case last week Finnish Social Democrats in EU parliament surprisingly meekly abstained from voting against resolution condemning Russia. So one may easily believe, that SDP is Russia’s bitch again. Unfortunately)
In last budget, FDF got more money to armaments, but more was cut from day to day spending, thus gnawing even more deeply the core of Finnish defense system: Training of reservists, and conscripts alike. Some more Stingers will not do diddly, if people are not trained in their use.
So in close future NBP9 will not be able to withstand attack or major pressure from Russia, and President Putin will most definitively press the issue to garner even more gains from his Foreign policy roulette. Baltic States will have to spend more in defense and hope to weather until Sweden and Finland get their act together again. Our hopes lie with Poland currently