'Draws Us Into Superpower Rivalry': Norwegian Party Opposes Sweden's and Finland's NATO Membership
Red Party leader Bjørnar Moxnes - who vowed to vote against the ratification of Stockholm and Helsinki's NATO bid - maintains that dependence on superpowers, such as the US, doesn't contribute to the peace and security of smaller nations.
Norway’s Red Party has said it is opposed to Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO membership, stressing that it won't contribute to peace and security in the region. The party wants Norway to vote against Swedish and Finnish membership.
“The dependence on superpowers doesn't bring peace and security. Reds will vote against ratification of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden,” the Red Party leader Bjørnar Moxnes wrote in an explanatory Facebook post.
Moxnes, a firm opponent of NATO and US military expansion, once again cautioned against ongoing militarisation and warned of its adverse security implications for smaller nations.
“The Nordic countries have an interest in low tensions in the High North, but American bases and increased NATO militarisation near the Russian border area increase tensions and draw us closer to great power rivalry between the US and Russia,” he added.
With two new Nordic NATO members, this tendency will be strengthened further, Moxnes argued.
“With Sweden and Finland as NATO members, it will be more important than ever to stick to base policy [the decision to prohibit foreign bases on Norwegian soil in peacetime] and secure the Nordic region as a nuclear-weapon-free zone. We expect the Norwegian government to provide clear support for the Swedish reservations against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory,” he added.
Norway has been a member of NATO since 1949. However, months before entering the alliance, it pledged not to open foreign bases on its territory, unless attacked or exposed to threats – with the validity of this policy increasingly questioned in recent years, given the rotary presence of US Marines in Norway.
Moxnes came under fire from fellow MPs for breaking the apparent unity of Norwegian politics, where both the left and the right unequivocally support the accession of Finland and Sweden. Progress Party leader Sylvi Listhaug accused the Red Party of being “Putin's best friends”, an accusation Moxnes rejected with his insistence that his party condemns Russia's special operation in Ukraine and “stands” in solidarity with Sweden and Finland regardless of their NATO ambitions.
Earlier this week, Finland and Sweden formally submitted their NATO applications at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels. In doing so, both in effect abandoned decades of non-alignment after hasty deliberations, spurred on by Russia's special operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine - and protect the Donbass republics - which has been described by western governments and media as an “invasion”.
The applications must be ratified by all 30 allies before the two can be admitted as new members. Turkey has vehemently opposed their membership, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowing to veto the Nordic bid unless Turkish demands are met to extradite some 30 people accused of terrorism-related crimes and to lift export bans on Ankara. He also accused both nations of harbouring terrorists referring to the alleged presence in those countries of Turkish and Kurdish groups, the YPG and PKK, which Ankara has branded terrorist groups.