After many years of stated neutrality, the country of Finland has became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO on April 4. Finland, Russia's neighbor to the Northwest, shares more than 800 miles of border and thus their NATO membership marks a dramatic change in the political landscape in Northern Europe.
Ryhor Nizhnikau is a Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute Of International Affairs in Helsinki, Finland. His expertise is on Russia, Northern and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, the European Union, and NATO.
He gave a first-hand description of how Finlands new NATO membership is felt there and in Europe and why Finland made this dramatic change.
Finland shares several experiences with Ukraine and Ryhor discussed international relations from outside the perspective of a superpower, a vision he hopes that Finland can bring to NATO which nurtures cooperation and rule of law between nations instead of power struggles. His hope is also that this cooperative approach could make room for the smaller powers to have a seat at the international table.