Sweden and Finland joining NATO- UPSC Current Affairs

Sweden and Finland joining NATO- UPSC Current Affairs

In today’s edition of our Current Affairs Dialog box, we will discuss Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Navigate through the blog to understand the topic in detail and enhance your UPSC CSE Preparation Online.

The crucial topic has its relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus. 

For Prelims: Current Affairs, NATO, Washington Treaty

For Mains: International Organizations, World History, Post World War II, Cold War

Context

Turkey has made peace with Sweden and Finland on joining NATO by signing the memorandum of understanding (MoU).

About NATO

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance in the European Continent.
  • It was established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) in 1949.
  • Its headquarters are in Brussels and Belgium.
  • It was formed in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union after World War II.
  • The NATO alliance consists of 30 independent countries (initially 12).
  • Countries that have recently declared their aspirations for NATO membership are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Sweden, and Ukraine.

Also read: Explained: What is Anti-Defection Law

Objectives of NATO

  • The aim of establishing NATO is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.
  • It also helps its member countries to consult and cooperate on safety-related issues, defense, establishing mutual trust, and unnecessary conflicts.
  • To resolve any dispute, NATO first attempts to establish peace and in case of failure to establish peace its military undertakes operations to resolve the crisis.

Defense Clauses

  • NATO Military operations are taken under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate. 
  • Article 5 of the Washington Treaty has been invoked only once, due to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in the US.

How Does a Country Joins NATO?

Article 10 of NATO’s founding treaties allow the new members to join NATO with a unanimous agreement with all the existing allies. There is a five-step process to join NATO:

  • Step 1: The new members have to satisfy some prerequisites 
    • Must be a European nation.
    • Follow democratic principles.
    • Must contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic region
  • Step 2: When a country satisfies all prerequisites, it is invited to join the Membership Acquisition Plan (MAP)
    • This plan provides advice and support on different aspects of membership ranging from defense and military to political and legal issues.
    • Participation in MAP does not guarantee membership, the MAP process varies for each country.
  • Step 3: After this accession talks are held, where the invitee country accepts the commitment, rights and obligations of NATO membership.
  • Step 4: This step requires every member country to sign and accept the accession protocol, meanwhile the invitee country will also be integrated with certain aspects of NATO’s work.
  • Step 5: The invitee country needs to adopt & deposit its own bill of ratification to join NATO. Once the bill of ratification is passed, the country officially becomes NATO member.

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MOU between Turkey, Sweden and Finland

  • The Turkish government was opposing Sweden and Finland on allegations of supporting Kurdish separatism, terrorism, and extradition.
  • Finland and Sweden have given assurance to address counter-terrorism provisions within their countries.
  • The pending & suspected “deportations or extraditions” of listed ‘terror’ will also be executed by the two countries. 
  • They gave assurance to lift the arms embargo against Turkey.

Impact on Russia

  • Finland and Russia share a 1,340 km long border, whereas Sweden shares the Baltic Sea with Russia.
  • NATO will exercise more influence on both the Baltic Sea area and on the land, countering the strategic positions of Russia.
  • The move to join NATO will weaken Russia’s influence by strengthening NATO in the alliance positions.
  • The increased power share from sovereign powers of the west can be alarming for Russia.

Impact on NATO

  • NATO dominance will be strengthened as Finland’s geographical location would double NATO’s shares on Russia’s border.
  • Sweden and Finland’s move to join NATO will be beneficial in increasing Western unity, resolve, and military preparedness.
  • NATO will also be able to position its weapon systems and enhance its combat formation and plan its attack techniques to power up deterrence and defense.

Source: The Hindu

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