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Russia has pushed Finland towards full NATO membership: former Finnish PM Alexander Stubb

Ian Bremmer, Ph.D
 

Russia’s war in Ukraine has implications for its relationship with its next-door neighbor—Finland. In this GZERO World interview, Ian Bremmer talks to former Finnish PM Alexander Stubb, who explains why Russia’s invasion has sparked Finland to shift from neutrality to an open embrace of NATO.

He believes Putin will fail at the three things he is trying to accomplish: annex Ukraine; push back NATO’s borders to where they were during the Cold War; and prevent Finland and Sweden from joining the alliance.

Stubb points out that Putin has now caused a permanent change in public opinion among Finns and Swedes.

“The train has left the station. Finland is moving toward full NATO membership,” he says. “It’s not going to happen today, it’s not going to happen next week, but it will eventually happen.”

Stubb also sees China as a lot more dependent on Europe or the US than it is on Russia. “But don’t think for one minute that […] the big partnership in the future is gonna be China and Russia,” Stubb says. Although Russia has natural resources, geographic size, and military power, its economy is very small.

Ten years from now, Stubb anticipates a Russia that will be as isolated as North Korea is today.

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