Finland has just applied to join NATO and Sweden may follow suit in the coming weeks. The entire Scandinavian region may end up becoming part of the North Atlantic Alliance in the near future as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In historical terms, the current authoritarian Russian regime may be reaping the opposite of what it seemed to want: it is not clear that it can dominate Ukraine, Finland is moving away from the status of neutrality consolidated after the Second World War, and the prudent Sweden also takes party for NATO in the face of neo-tsarist expansionism.

Russia has already threatened retaliation against the Finns and Swedes, and also against the European Union as a whole. The Gazprom company has already sealed the valves of the Yamal Europa gas pipeline that sent gas to the West through Belarus and Poland, as a punishment for Poland for not paying in rubles. (This gas pipeline has already sent little gas in recent months and the greatest effect of its closure has been to increase the price of gas in the futures market). There are problems in the pipelines that cross Ukraine. In Brussels, the impression is beginning to grow that Russia may severely restrict gas transfers to Europe in the coming months to avoid the European Union’s goal of reaching next winter with 80% reserves.

The entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO – which Turkey threatens to veto – would be an important novelty with repercussions in a geographical scenario that will acquire greater strategic relevance in the near future: the Arctic.