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The Russian invasion of Ukraine is leading other countries in Europe to think more closely about their security decisions, and right now that’s happening in the Nordic countries. Finland and Sweden are taking some pretty big steps towards joining NATO now after their leaders met in Stockholm on Wednesday.
Finland is situated close to Russia and shares a 1,300-kilometer border with it. The Kremlin has previously said that the two countries joining NATO would be considered an escalation, but it’s looking like they’re going to make their decision independent of what Russia has to say.
“I think people’s mindsets in Finland, also in Sweden, changed and were shaped very dramatically by Russia’s actions,” said Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin. “This is very clear and that caused a need for a process in Finland to have a discussion about our own security choices.”
The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, has said that if Finland and Sweden entered NATO, Russia would have to “rebalance the situation” with its own measures.