In its issue of Lö 30.04.16, Hbl devoted rather many pages to reporting about and discussing the report of a commission which had deeply thought about the question what might be the consequences if Finland (and/or Sweden) would join Nato.
Some of the commission’s ideas seem quite reasonable to me, e.g. the admonition that Sweden and Finland should, whatever they do, do it TOGETHER. But there are other ideas which do worry me seriously. E.g. there is (a) the outspoken assumption that, if Finland would join Nato, Russia would very strongly protest, but not more (and after some time everything would be back to normal). And there is (b) nowhere any visible doubt about the assumption that “Nato” would be simply equal to “security”.
And about (a) I am inclined to remind that this is the way how wars begin: Hitler thought that Britain and France would just protest, but not more, if he would invade Poland; and as we remember, he was wrong. As to the relation with Russia: here on the western end of Eurasia Russia has exactly one ice-free access to the ocean, namely Murmansk, and if Finland would join Nato, not only Murmansk itself but the traffic connection to it would be very seriously threatened; this in a situation where Nato is already controlling the Danish passages and the Bosphorus. Altogether the situation would begin to resemble pretty much the situation which Peter the Great was so violently fighting (and, by building his new capital at the mouth of the Neva, also demonstrating) against: he wanted access to the sea while Sweden wanted to rule all the shores of the Baltic. And at present it is Nato which wants to control all the shores of the Baltic – which may be a plan which Russia could well be more sensitive about than Nato can imagine. Of course Nato will always claim that it never will do anything but just DEFEND its members, but since the USA invaded Iraq under pretenses and urged its Nato partners (partly successfully) to join the enterprise, we know that Nato can very easily also be used for openly aggressive purposes. This has to be kept especially in mind now, when we see what presidential candidates (who, once in office, would also be the supreme commanders of the US military) the US political system is producing.
And as to assumption (b), that “Nato” would equal “security”: we know that Nato will not easily be active if not the USA become active first; we know that US foreign policy tends to act “in the American interest” (which is not easy to see if the job were to defend nearly-empty Finland, which does not either have any important commodities (like oil) to offer, against an as dangerous opponent as Russia); we still know that the often-mentioned article 5 of the Nato treaty does NOT demand military, but only such action which the partners consider necessary (whatever that means). So that, altogether, the “security” is doubtful.
And if we assume that my view is correct, then it would mean that the Baltic states (who have historical reasons for wanting to be in Nato, also have a land connection to stronger Nato partners) certainly should not be hindered from being in Nato (where they are already anyway), but that Sweden and Finland should better continue being non-threatening neighbours of Russia (which will appreciate peace and quiet on its long northwestern border), and even to develop the neighbourly relations further.