In May 2022, Finland and Sweden both announced that they had decided to apply for membership in NATO. This was a dramatic shift in both countries’ foreign and security policies, but a logical consequence of their European Union membership and close partnership with NATO in the post–Cold War era. For both Finland and Sweden, the key motivation for joining NATO was the need for greater strategic stability in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The swift decisions to cast aside their traditional military nonalignment cannot be understood without considering the strong emotional response in public opinion to Russia’s unprovoked war.

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