January 24, 2023

How Finnish and Swedish NATO Accession Could Shape the Future Russian Threat

Washington, January 24, 2023—Today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new policy brief, "How Finnish and Swedish NATO Accession Could Shape the Future Russian Threat," from authors Nicholas Lokker, Jim Townsend, Heli Hautala, and Andrea Kendall-Taylor.

The policy brief discusses how Finland’s and Sweden’s entry into NATO will shape Europe’s security landscape, how Russia is likely to see these changes and respond, and how the allies can address the future challenges stemming from these changing dynamics.

Ultimately, the authors argue that to manage the short-term and long-term evolution of the Russian threat resulting from the alliance’s new round of enlargement, the United States and NATO should:

  • Increase defenses against hybrid threats;
  • Effectively manage the heightened Russian nuclear threat;
  • Plan for a militarily resurgent Russia;
  • Avoid provoking Russian aggression in the Nordic-Baltic-Arctic Theater;
  • Create a comprehensive NATO strategy for regional security in northern Europe; and
  • Foster a sense of broader allied solidarity in Finland and Sweden.

This policy brief is a product of the CNAS Transatlantic Forum on Russia, an initiative designed to spur coordination between the United States and Europe on Russia-related policy across multiple issue areas. Policy briefs are informed by a series of dialogues with leading experts from both sides of the Atlantic. Previous briefs in the series include: "Supporting Russian Civil Society," "Toward a New Transatlantic Approach to Russia Sanctions," "Arms Control and Stability with Russia," and "Navigating Relations with Russia in the Arctic."

For more information or to schedule an interview with the report authors, please contact Cameron Edinburgh at cedinburgh@cnas.org

Transatlantic Security

How Finnish and Swedish NATO Accession Could Shape the Future Russian Threat

About the Transatlantic Forum on Russia This policy brief is a product of the CNAS Transatlantic Forum on Russia, an initiative designed to spur coordination between the Unite...

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Authors

  • Nicholas Lokker

    Research Associate, Transatlantic Security Program

    Nicholas Lokker is a Research Associate for the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS. His work explores the development of the political and security order in Europe, focusi...

  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...

  • Heli Hautala

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Heli Hautala is an Adjunct Senior Fellow for the Transatlantic Security Program. She specializes in Northern European security and in Russia. Heli joined the Finnish Foreign S...

  • Andrea Kendall-Taylor

    Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program

    Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS. She works on national security challenges facing the United States and Eur...