Sweden and Finland’s freedom to potentially join NATO was recently challenged by Russia. Anna Wieslander spoke with Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) about the reactions in Stockholm and Helsinki.

“Overall, Sweden’s response has not been at the same high level of state officials as the response in Finland. One key explanation for this is that we [Sweden] are not in the same political position. Finland has been clear about its debate: The country frequently talks of its ‘NATO option’ as a future possibility. But the current Swedish government has explicitly ruled out joining NATO…So, with national elections due in September, it was understandable why the official reaction to the Russian statement was muted in comparison with that in Finland.”