Finland Increases Defense Budget By 70%, Amid Russia Tensions

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg shakes hands with President of Finland Sauli Niinisto before their meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Nov. 9, 2016. THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday a five-party government in Finland agreed to increase the country’s defense spending by over 70%. Russia’s noritic neighbor felt this more was necessary as they do not have a strategic alliance with NATO and even though they are a part of the European Union this one-time boost was seen as a necessity for the safety and security of the Finish people.

The new spending includes 1.74 billion euros on ‘materials’ such as weapons and guns, 163 million for an aircraft surveillance unit at the border, and defense forces are expected to get more training throughout the next few years.

What does this actually mean? It’s hard to say, Finland does border Russia and actually holds the largest European Union/Russia border in the world. But overall, it would be hard to see Russia invading such an innocent country that it has no traditional connection to and doesn’t have an ounce of a resource Russia would need.

Some people believed that this increase in defense was the wrong thing to do believing that all it this decision did was waste money or provoke Russia who clearly does not want to see an increase in defense spending while they are invading another nation. Turns out, those people were 100% right! It was revealed on Friday that Finland had suffered a series of cyber-attacks and a Russian state plane may have breached Finish air space. Likely not a coincidence.

Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen said; “The war in Europe has fundamentally changed our security environment…for this reason we have decided to allocate a significant budgetary increase to the defense forces”.

Finland is an incredible socialist country and public opinion resonates a massive amount because of the way their government is set up. In the past months public opinion has shifted to a more pro-defense stance and the majority of Finish people would like to see a bid to join NATO.

Then Kremlin said it would be forced to “rebalance the situation” if Sweden and Finland were to join NATO. What that exactly means is up in the air as Russia seems so far unwilling to touch any NATO ally and considering the fact they would be dramatically outnumbered in a potential war with NATO.

Finish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said a decision would be made by early summer, likely in June.

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