Presentation Title

Finland’s NATO Problem: Neutrality in a Polarized Europe

Faculty Mentor

Lewis Long

Start Date

23-11-2019 1:30 PM

End Date

23-11-2019 1:45 PM

Location

Markstein 301

Session

oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

In the wake of tensions between NATO and the East, Finland is found at odds with itself over potentially forgoing its abiding policy of neutrality, or aligning itself with the West. Currently, due to is proximity to Russian military installations, beneficial economic and energy agreements with Russia, and NATO’s lack of potency as a coalition, Finland should not seek membership with NATO. The research required to come to this conclusion was done so through research synthesis and literary review of both secondary and primary sources pertaining to the issue. In the end, the most glaring aspect regarding membership pertains to Finland’s proximity with Russia, specifically Finland’s border with the nation—the longest Russia has with any in Europe. Finland’s adjacency to Russia’s strategic military sites, such as in St. Petersburg and Severomorsk, further garners scrutiny whether membership is truly worth raising national security concerns within Russia. Furthermore, NATO lacks efficacy when defending Finland in the event of foreign invasion. Presently, Finland is involved with a myriad of multinational defense organizations, despite its already being a NATO partner-state. Due to its inhospitablitable nature, Finland wouldn’t suit NATO’s military procedures, especially following ineffective displays of defense against theoretical invasions via Russia’s pertinent Kaliningrad exclave (Shlapak, Johnson 2016). Additionally, the Finnish Foreign Affairs Ministry (2016) predicts losses in the trade, tourism, and—most notably—energy sectors if deterioration of agreements regarding these industries transpire. This would prompt immense damage to Finland’s economy, considering 40.4% of total primary energy was imported from Russia in 2016. Currently, Finland would prosper most under keeping the status quo, unless NATO demonstrates more conducive actions to prompt Finland into membership, or until Finland gains economic and energy independence from Russia.

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Nov 23rd, 1:30 PM Nov 23rd, 1:45 PM

Finland’s NATO Problem: Neutrality in a Polarized Europe

Markstein 301

In the wake of tensions between NATO and the East, Finland is found at odds with itself over potentially forgoing its abiding policy of neutrality, or aligning itself with the West. Currently, due to is proximity to Russian military installations, beneficial economic and energy agreements with Russia, and NATO’s lack of potency as a coalition, Finland should not seek membership with NATO. The research required to come to this conclusion was done so through research synthesis and literary review of both secondary and primary sources pertaining to the issue. In the end, the most glaring aspect regarding membership pertains to Finland’s proximity with Russia, specifically Finland’s border with the nation—the longest Russia has with any in Europe. Finland’s adjacency to Russia’s strategic military sites, such as in St. Petersburg and Severomorsk, further garners scrutiny whether membership is truly worth raising national security concerns within Russia. Furthermore, NATO lacks efficacy when defending Finland in the event of foreign invasion. Presently, Finland is involved with a myriad of multinational defense organizations, despite its already being a NATO partner-state. Due to its inhospitablitable nature, Finland wouldn’t suit NATO’s military procedures, especially following ineffective displays of defense against theoretical invasions via Russia’s pertinent Kaliningrad exclave (Shlapak, Johnson 2016). Additionally, the Finnish Foreign Affairs Ministry (2016) predicts losses in the trade, tourism, and—most notably—energy sectors if deterioration of agreements regarding these industries transpire. This would prompt immense damage to Finland’s economy, considering 40.4% of total primary energy was imported from Russia in 2016. Currently, Finland would prosper most under keeping the status quo, unless NATO demonstrates more conducive actions to prompt Finland into membership, or until Finland gains economic and energy independence from Russia.