Finland has just become the newest member of NATO, an event that marks a significant shift in its relationship with its eastern neighbour, Russia. This move highlights Finland’s complex and long history with its neighbouring country and offers an insight into their ongoing political evolution.
The Nordic nation is also reportedly the happiest in the world by quality of life indices, so much so that it has earned the nickname ‘The Land of Smiles’. This is largely attributed to its strong social policies which prioritize the wellbeing of citizens – for example, universal healthcare and generous parental leave. It also has a relatively low income disparity between classes and genders as well as high levels of education.
Finland’s recent entrance to NATO is significant for both itself and Europe as a whole. For decades, Finland was heavily influenced by Soviet rule until they declared independence in 1917 after the conclusion of World War I. Since then, Finland maintained neutrality status while still having close economic ties to Russia due to their shared border.
However, this dynamic shifted significantly when Putin’s Russia forcefully annexed Crimea from Ukraine during 2014-2015. As a result, Finland recently decided to join NATO in order to gain military support against Russia should tensions escalate further – though it remains committed to dialogue instead of confrontation whenever possible.
For anyone interested in learning more about this fascinating country and what led up to this momentous decision, we highly recommend watching How Finland Joined NATO: A Documentary. This film explores the events leading up to Finland joining NATO through interviews with government officials as well as regular citizens who have been affected by it directly or indirectly over time. Watch as experts from both sides discuss their points of view on how this event will shape the future of international relations between countries in Europe and beyond.