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NATO Cries Wolf Over Finnish Islands to Hype 'Russian Threat' Narrative

© AFP 2023 / CHRISTOF STACHEA soldier of the Finnish army wduring the 'Dynamic Front 22' annual exercise in southern Germany on July 20, 2022.
A soldier of the Finnish army wduring the 'Dynamic Front 22' annual exercise in southern Germany on July 20, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.05.2024
Western-peddled fears of an alleged potential threat posed to NATO by Moscow have become the norm amid the alliance’s relentless expansion closer to Russia’s borders and hiked up military spending benefiting the military-industrial complex.
NATO is increasingly crying wolf over an archipelago in the Baltic Sea as part of its Russian threat propaganda.
The Åland Islands have been dubbed the “Achilles' heel” of the alliance’s newest member — Finland — Bloomberg reported.
The self-governing, demilitarised Swedish-speaking region of Finland sits at the crossroads of major trade routes worth an estimated $160 billion annually. Key energy and communication infrastructure, undersea electricity and internet cables are located in the area.
But what has NATO stymied is the fact that “Russia is tasked with enforcing an accord that has banned any military presence on its shores for over a century,” the news site pointed out.
Now the Nordic country is a NATO member, warmongering hawks see the archipelago as a huge blind spot, “giving Moscow an open field should it ever decide to invade.”

“If you have all the Åland Islands, you can block maritime traffic both to the Gulf of Bothnia and to the Gulf of Finland… Then we are pretty screwed,” claimed Pekka Toveri, a former major general in Finland’s armed forces.

© Photo : Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission; Finnish Border Guard; Finnish NavyScreenshot showing map of Finland's demilitarized Aland Islands.
Screenshot showing map of Finland's demilitarized Aland Islands. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.05.2024
Screenshot showing map of Finland's demilitarized Aland Islands.
The Agreement between the-then Soviet Union and Finland on the Åland Islands was signed in 1940 following the end of the Winter War. The Finnish side pledged “to demilitarise the Åland Islands, not to fortify them, and not to put them at the disposal of the armed forces of foreign states.” A Soviet Consulate was established in Åland's capital, Mariehamn.
© AFP 2023 / ALESSANDRO RAMPAZZOFinland's autonomous Aland Islands.
Finland's autonomous Aland Islands. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.05.2024
Finland's autonomous Aland Islands.
According to Toveri, the Russian consulate on the Åland Islands needs to be shut down, and Finnish forces must begin training there.
The member of parliament for the center-right National Coalition Party added that archipelago is more important to Finland than Gotland Island is to Sweden. As with Gotland, control of Åland is perceived as key to military dominance in Baltic waters.

in the summer of 2022, Sweden hosted NATO’s BALTOPS 22 exercises on Gotland Island. After Stockholm joined NATO, abandoning long-standing neutrality, Sweden’s prime minister Ulf Kristersson expressed openness to “reinforcing” Gotland’s defenses, in a nod to NATO plans for the Baltic. Sweden's plans to create a NATO base on the island of Gotland were slammed as provocative by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

After a recdnt review of the Åland islands’ status, the Finnish government saw no need to make any changes. That stance is backed by recent polls among Åland's residents.
Bloomberg acknowledged that shredding any international demilitarization agreements would be a time-consuming feat, and is unlikely to happen, “for now.”
A female soldier of the P18 Gotland Regiment is pictured during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.03.2024
Good Gotland! NATO Militarization Risks Putting Swedish Island in Nuclear Crosshairs
Developments around both Gotland and the Åland Islands fit the ongoing "Russia threat" narrative NATO has been pushing — while continuing its eastward expansion.
At the Antalya Diplomacy Forum held in Turkey earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took Finland and Sweden to task for abandoning their longstanding neutrality to join NATO.
He said that their decision marked the end of "decades of good neighborliness." Lavrov also warned that Russia would respond by taking additional measures “appropriate to the threats that could appear on the territory of Finland and Sweden.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently scotched those claims, highlighting NATO's hostile posture towards Moscow.
"They're trying to intimidate their own population with an imaginary Russian threat. This is an obvious fact," Putin noted in his interview with Tucker Carlson, adding that "smart people understand perfectly well that this is a fake."
Russian and NATO flags - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.02.2024
European NATO Members Know 'Russia Threat' Rhetoric is a Lie - Expert
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