Finland said it was ready to fight Russia if attacked. The head of the country’s armed forces, Timo Kivinen, declared on Wednesday, 22, that the Finns would offer resistance to the Russian offensive, as would Ukraine.
+ The effects of Finland and Sweden’s application to join NATO
“Ukraine has been a tough nut to crack (for Russia), and Finland will be too,” Kivinen said in an interview with the Reuters news agency.
In addition to the nation being prepared in terms of firepower, armored forces and air forces, the general stated that the military is motivated to fight with its neighbor. “The most important line of defense is in encouraging soldiers, as the war in Ukraine at the moment proves,” he said.
A May poll by the country’s Defense Ministry revealed that around 82% of respondents would be willing to participate in national defense if Finland were attacked.
Unlike other Western countries, Finland does notIt did not abolish military conscription for men after the end of the Cold War. The nation of 5.5 million has around 280,000 active service members, with 870,000 trained as reservists.
Since the Second World War, when he fought twice against Soviet forces, Helsinki maintained a high level of military preparedness, building one of the strongest artillery in Europe. Currently, the country invests 2% of its GDP in defence, a level higher than that of many other countries.The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Motivated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Finland applied to join the Western military alliance, breaking with the tradition of neutrality it had maintained since the Cold War.
However, entry into the alliance will only take place after approval of the request by all members of the organization, including the Turkey, which has been resistant to applications from Finland and Sweden.
+ Turkey imposes conditions to approve Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership
Criticizing the Nordic countries’ intention, Moscow said that Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO would be a “grave mistake” with “far-reaching consequences”.
Joining NATO would allow the Nordic country to increase its early warning capability by being part of the organization’s joint control of airspace. In addition, Helsinki also would gain the extra protection of the famous Article 5, which defines aggression against one as aggression against all.
Despite the fact that 76% of the country’s population support its joining NATO, the Finnish general stated that “the main responsibility for the defense of Finland will still lie with Finland”.
Your arsenal is stocked with missiles with a range of up to 370 km and the government is ordering four new warships, as well as 64 F-35 fighters, aircraft designed to attack ground targets. It plans to order up to 2,000 drones, its own high-altitude anti-aircraft equipment and is building barriers on its 1,300km border with Russia.
Neighboring nations maintain a troubled historical relationship. Finland was part of the Russian Empire until 1917 and fought two wars with the Soviet Union in the 1940s. In 1948, Helsinki ended up ceding 10% of its territory to the USSR signing a treaty of “friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance” that militarily isolated it from Western Europe.