Image credit: Melody Cook/CNAS

April 11, 2022

Inching Closer Toward NATO with Mika Aaltola and Anna Wieslander

By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Mika Aaltola and Anna Wieslander

Will Finland and Sweden join NATO? Since Russia launched its unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine in late February, European political and security dynamics have changed in profound ways. For Finland and Sweden, the invasion has ignited a new round of debate around the question of NATO membership, causing both countries to reexamine their longstanding policy of remaining outside the transatlantic military alliance. Despite this movement, no political decision has yet been made in either country, and obstacles may remain in the way of membership. Nevertheless, it appears that a seismic shift in foreign and security policy could be on the horizon for both countries. Anna Wieslander and Mika Aaltola join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss what we might expect to see going forward.

Anna Wieslander serves as director for Northern Europe at the Atlantic Council. In addition to her role at the Atlantic Council, she chairs the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm and serves as secretary general of the Swedish Defense Association.

Mika Aaltola is the Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He is also a tenured professor of International Relations and European Union Affairs at Tallinn University in Estonia and holds the rank of docent at Tampere University.

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