Tag Archives: FINLAND

Sweden doesn’t want US missiles on its territory

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hulqvist, in an article published in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, announced Stockholm’s intention to continue to adhere to military neutrality and not join the North Atlantic Alliance, despite the demands of center-right parties.

“I do not think that the solution to all defense issues in our part of Europe is solved only by membership in NATO,” the Swedish defense minister said.

Earlier in March, the Swedish research agency published data that assesses the military power of the North Atlantic Alliance and its partners. According to their data, compared to Russia, NATO members are poorly prepared for the emergence of a major conflict. Russia will be able to enter the Baltic states in a matter of days, as NATO will be too slow to respond. Russia will have an advantage, because the bloc’s forces are too dispersed, differ in their military capabilities, and their joint training is insufficient.

However, the report said that an armed attack on NATO members, partners, or EU countries by Russia is highly unlikely. However, a serious strategic threat from the West could exacerbate the situation in the region. In other words, Sweden believes that the growing military presence of the United States and NATO at the borders of Russia provokes Moscow to retaliate.

Thus, the US decision to deploy missile defense facilities in Poland and Romania was followed by a response in the form of the transfer of the Iskander missile defense system to the Kaliningrad region. In Sweden, this is well understood, and they do not want to have Russian missiles at their side. However, security in the Scandinavian region does not depend only on Sweden. According to the Swedish defense minister, the possible accession of Sweden to the alliance “will change the situation” for the non-aligned neighboring Finland, a key partner of Stockholm in defense issues. “And Finland has a very long border with Russia.”

Recall that Finland also adheres to the neutral status enshrined in the country’s military doctrine, and Sweden’s accession to NATO will certainly launch a similar process in the neighboring country, which has a long border with Russia.

The involvement of the two Scandinavian countries in NATO will be beneficial only to Washington. At the moment, Sweden and Finland have quite close economic ties and good neighborly relations. In the case of joining the alliance, it will not be limited to military exercises. For example, in same Norway, strategic bombers are already deployed, there is one missile defense facility and another is under construction. The Norwegian Navy is part of the global missile defense system and is equipped with the American Aegis system.

Instead of moving closer to NATO, Stockholm will take the path of modernizing and increasing the capabilities of its own armed forces.

The Baltic States for the first time refused electricity from Russia

Latvia, without explanation, stopped commercial imports from Russia for two days, on April 8 and 11, during tests on disconnecting power lines between Belarus and Lithuania to check the power systems before the full exit of the Baltic countries from the BRELL energy ring (Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).

These days in Russia, due to the termination of export supplies, demand and prices for electricity have fallen. In the Baltic States, the opposite situation occurred, for example, on April 8, Lithuania increased purchases of more expensive electricity from Poland and Sweden to compensate for imports.

The authorities of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia have decided to abandon the supply of electricity from Russia and Belarus and disconnect from the BRELL power ring in 2019. Instead, the countries intend to synchronize their energy systems with European countries and connect to the EU networks by 2025. At the same time, the Baltic countries are already connected to the EU energy system through Poland (LitPol Link), Sweden (NordBalt), and Finland (Eastlink 1 and Eastlink 2).

In January, it became known that the operator of the main networks of Finland, Fingrid, presented four plans for the development of the country’s energy system, three of which provide for a complete rejection of imports through the development of wind and solar power plants. The country is the largest buyer of Russian energy, the volume of supplies in 2020 reached 22 billion rubles, which is more than a third of all exports. However, in two plans, Finland in the future has planned to completely abandon the energy bridge passing through Vyborg.

Russia is the main obstacle to peace in Belarus

The leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, is ready to hold talks with the self-proclaimed President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, without any preconditions.

This is stated in a statement by her office.

In particular, it is claimed that Tikhanovskaya is ready to meet not even with Lukashenko himself, but with his representatives.

But due to the lack of trust between the parties, the oppositionists believe that the OSCE can act as a platform for preliminary consultations and contacts.

“This allows us to include Russia in the process. It is Russia’s position that is the main obstacle to resolving the crisis in Belarus, “ Tikhanovskaya said unexpectedly.

At the same time, the OSCE will not be able to act as a guarantor of the party’s fulfillment of their obligations. In addition to the Russian Federation, the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, or Sweden may be involved in the negotiations for this purpose.

However, neither Poland nor Lithuania, with which the Lukashenko regime is in acute conflict, can mediate the reconciliation of Belarusians.

Recall that at home, several criminal cases were opened against Tikhanovskaya — including an attempt to seize power and prepare a terrorist attack.

In this regard, Belarus demanded to extradite the politician from Lithuania but was decisively refused.

Finland is approaching the mark of 1 million vaccinated

This week, Finland, with a population of 5.5 million inhabitants, will pass the threshold of one million vaccinated.

This is reported by Yle.

According to the latest data, 974,000 people have already received the first dose of the vaccine in the country.

According to the Health and Social Development Agency THL, about four and a half million people will be vaccinated in Finland as a whole.

About 200,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to be delivered to the country each week over the next three weeks.

According to the forecast of the European Commissioner Thierry Breton, the EU population can achieve collective immunity against the coronavirus until mid-July.

Meanwhile, in Germany, until the beginning of May, they plan to vaccinate 20% of the population.

In Germany, predicted the “most severe” wave of the pandemic

The third wave of the pandemic in Germany may be “the most severe,” said Lothar Wheeler, head of the Robert Koch Institute. According to him, the next rampant coronavirus in the country is caused by the spread of the “British” strain of infection.

A couple of weeks ago, Wheeler acknowledged the onset of the third wave of the pandemic in Germany. The statement was made on the basis of the growing dynamics of coronavirus infections in the country.

Scientists of the institute noted that in January and February in Germany, there was a downward trend in COVID-19 diseases. In March, the situation changed. The indicators for the infection of citizens with the infection began to grow again. Experts then suggested that a new strain of the virus, which is characterized by a higher rate of spread, began to rage in the country.

Last week, the representative of the European Commission, Dana Spinant, said that European countries are covered by the third wave of the pandemic. According to her, somewhere the infection spreads gradually, somewhere at a rapid pace. Spirant stressed that the current situation suggests the need to speed up vaccination of the population. The statement of the representative of the European Commission was made against the background of an increase in the number of infections in Finland, Poland, France, Estonia, Italy, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and other countries.