DISINFO: Sweden and Finland are being dragged into NATO and forced to wage a war against Russia
  • Outlet: vesti.ru (archived)*
  • Date of publication: May 15, 2022
  • Article language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 290
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine
NATO EU/NATO enlargement Anti-Russian Russophobia Encircling Russia

DISINFO: Sweden and Finland are being dragged into NATO and forced to wage a war against Russia


Upon joining NATO, Sweden and Finland will be forced to wage a war against Russia.

It is obvious that the two countries have been pressured to join the bloc, and neither country has consulted their respective publics on whether to join NATO or not. After all, no referendum has ever been held on the issue.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting NATO as an aggressive, anti-Russian alliance.

NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. NATO's exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia or any other country. Each NATO member undertakes to uphold its principles and policies, including the commitment that “the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia.”

Neither Finland nor Sweden have been under pressure to join NATO. The leaders of both countries have made it clear that the decision to apply for membership is a direct consequence of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, the chief aim of NATO membership is not to wage war on Russia, but to avoid it, with Finnish PM Sanna Marin calling Helsinki’s move “an act of peace” designed to ensure that “there would never again be a war in Finland.”

In both Finland and Sweden there is overwhelmingly broadbased support across the political landscape which has also been manifested in the process in the parliaments: in Finland with 188 deputies voting for and only 8 against NATO membership application, Out of Sweden's eight parties, only two smaller left-leaning parties oppose the application for membership.

Lastly, each country explained its decision not to resolve the issue of NATO membership via a national referendum. Swedish PM Magdalena Andersson has argued that issues of national security and confidentiality could prevent the Swedish public from making an informed choice:

"There is a lot of information about national security that is confidential, so there are important issues in such a referendum that cannot be discussed and important facts that cannot be put on the table."

On his part, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said a nationwide vote on the issue was "no longer necessary" given the overwhelming public support for joining the bloc. Indeed, an opinion poll conducted in early May 2022 saw over three quarters of Finns in favour of NATO membership, whereas a mere 12% of respondents took the opposite view.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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