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Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.
Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.

What Are Sweden and Finland Thinking?

European leaders have reassessed Russia’s intentions and are balancing against the threat that Putin poses to the territorial status quo. 

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson address a news conference in Stockholm on May 16.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson address a news conference in Stockholm on May 16.

NATO Countries Begin Ushering Finland and Sweden Into the Fold

The U.K. and several Nordic countries have offered security guarantees to what could be NATO’s newest members.

Members of the National Defence Training Association of Finland attend a training.
Members of the National Defence Training Association of Finland attend a training.

Finns Show Up for Conscription. Russians Dodge It.

Two seemingly similar systems produce very different militaries.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (R) and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (L) bump fists after holding a joint press conference after their meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Jan. 24.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (R) and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (L) bump fists after holding a joint press conference after their meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Jan. 24.

Finland’s Foreign Minister on Why Helsinki Is Moving Toward NATO Now

Pekka Haavisto once spearheaded efforts to engage with Russia and broaden cooperation. Now he’s helping lead Finland toward NATO membership.

Finnish Prime Minister of Sanna Marin (left) and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
Finnish Prime Minister of Sanna Marin (left) and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson

The NATO Accession Sweden Never Saw Coming

Finland has taken the lead, but its famously skeptical neighbor is following.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) meets with a delegation including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) on April 24 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) meets with a delegation including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) on April 24 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Is Weakening Russia a Bad Idea?

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comments raise questions about Washington’s endgame in Ukraine.

NATO meeting in Brussels.
NATO meeting in Brussels.

‘Thanks, Putin’: Finnish and Swedish Lawmakers Aim for NATO Membership

Politicians who have long called for Finland and Sweden to join NATO seem poised to finally get their wish.

Soldiers from the Finnish Defence Forces stand in front of a M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System during the international military exercise Cold Response 22, at Setermoen, Norway, on March 22.
Soldiers from the Finnish Defence Forces stand in front of a M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System during the international military exercise Cold Response 22, at Setermoen, Norway, on March 22.

What Finland Can Offer NATO

The end of neutrality for a famously neutral country would be a blow to Putin and enhance the alliance’s intelligence capabilities.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, speak to the media in Helsinki on March 5.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, speak to the media in Helsinki on March 5.

How Finland Could Tilt the Balance Against Putin

Helsinki joining NATO is his worst nightmare—apart from losing Ukraine.

Picture taken on March 3, 1977 in Loviisa, Finland shows Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, then President of Finland, and then Premier of the Soviet Union Alexei Kosygin putting the Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant into operation.
Picture taken on March 3, 1977 in Loviisa, Finland shows Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, then President of Finland, and then Premier of the Soviet Union Alexei Kosygin putting the Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant into operation.

Putin Won’t Ever Let Ukraine Be Finland

Why a widely touted model for Ukrainian neutrality won’t work to stop a Russian invasion.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg looks on as Finland Ministers for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (L) and Sweden Foreign minister Ann Linde (R) bump fists after holding a joint press conference after their meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Jan. 24, 2022.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg looks on as Finland Ministers for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (L) and Sweden Foreign minister Ann Linde (R) bump fists after holding a joint press conference after their meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Jan. 24, 2022.

Russia Is Driving Sweden and Finland Closer to NATO

Moscow’s aggression may have permanently changed Nordic security debates.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg shakes hands with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg shakes hands with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

Finland and Sweden Are Done With Deference to Russia

Even if the two Nordic countries don’t join NATO, they have signaled a new era in relations with Moscow.

The-Negotiators-podcast-series-1500x1000-site (1)
The-Negotiators-podcast-series-1500x1000-site (1)

The Negotiators Podcast: How A Finish Diplomat Negotiated the Release of Mothers and Children from Syria

Jussi Tanner spent nearly two years bargaining with the Kurdish-led autonomous government.

Finnish troops wear gas masks in 1939.
Finnish troops wear gas masks in 1939.

What Ukraine Can Learn From Finland

In December 1939, a small country with a small military held off the vastly superior Soviet Red Army and avoided occupation by its larger neighbor.

Frances Pugh in 2019's Midsommar.
Frances Pugh in 2019's Midsommar.

Scandinavia’s Horror Renaissance and the Global Appeal of ‘Fakelore’

“Midsommar” and “The Ritual” are steeped in Scandinavian folklore. Or are they?

A glacier sits above a stream running past cabins in Norway.
A glacier sits above a stream running past cabins in Norway.

Nordic Countries Aren’t Actually Socialist

Denmark, Norway, and Sweden shouldn’t be held up as socialist utopias.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and U.S. President Donald Trump
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and U.S. President Donald Trump

‘Crazy Times Are Good Times for Journalists, Unfortunately’

A conversation with Anna-Sofia Berner, U.S. correspondent for Finland’s largest daily newspaper

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin

Our Top Weekend Reads

Finland’s president carves a diplomatic niche, the coronavirus pandemic sounds alarm bells about genetic engineering, and Donald Trump seeks to actualize his dictatorial dreams.

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