The war in Ukraine's political ripple effect has reached Scandinavia. Finland and Sweden are both favored to apply for NATO membership before the end of 2022, and the former's border with Russia is not insignificant to the decision. EdgeTheory's Narrative Intelligence Brief breaks down the stories surrounding Finland's NATO move.
US Media outlets have pounced on the Finland and NATO narrative, with just under 500 narratives amplified in the past week alone. Among the top keywords is "Sauli Niinistö," the Finnish president. Niinistö believes Finland's membership would be mutually beneficial and has echoed Sweden's concerns that the situation in Ukraine could potentially compromise the national security of Finland as well.
Another top keyword gleaned from media sources was "membership without delay." This phrase comes from a joint statement form Finland's top leadership, and its 87 mentions in media emphasizes the rapid nature of the country's NATO application. The two Scandinavian countries could join in June or earlier, immediately bolstering NATO's military presence in the Baltic region.
A smaller but interesting keyword that emerged from media coverage was "World War II," which most likely references conflicts between the Soviet Union and Finland during World War II. Russia's current administration is unsurprisingly livid about Finland's flirting with NATO. Russia's Foreign Ministry has vowed the nation will take "retaliatory steps" if Finland is confirmed into NATO.
As more NATO countries sign off on both Finland and Sweden, there are sure to be more threads to follow in this narrative. This narrative intelligence brief will automatically update to show the evolving narratives between Finland, NATO, and Russia.