In both Sweden and Finland, Communists oppose NATO membership plans
'No to NATO': Protesters demonstrate against NATO membership outside the ruling Social Democratic Party's office in Stockholm, Sweden, May 14, 2022. | Anders Wiklund / TT via AP

Communists in both Sweden and Finland have come out in strong opposition to the announcements by the governments of their respective countries that they intend to apply for membership in the U.S.-led NATO military alliance.

The Swedish Communist Party (SKP) has slammed the decision of the ruling Social Democratic Party to back their country’s membership bid. It said the stunning policy reversal, which ends 200 years of neutrality, is linked to the aspirations of Swedish capital to secure its sphere of influence and defend its investments abroad.

The Communist Workers’ Party for Peace and Socialism (KTP) of Finland, meanwhile, said NATO expansion would “widen the conflict between Russia and the United States and increase the division of the world into two alliances more and more clearly—as happened before the first world war.”

In Stockholm, the SKP declared, “It is inevitable that the contradictions within the entire capitalist-imperialist system are intensifying and each country’s capital seeks the most profitable investments and the best conditions for its growth.”

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced that the Social Democrats had dropped their long-standing opposition to NATO membership in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and were seeking accession as soon as possible.

But the SKP said the decision was in breach of Andersson’s own party’s congress decisions, including a statement passed as recently as November 2021 which described military non-alignment as “a foundation of Sweden’s security policy.” The SDP was previously resolute on the threat posed by NATO membership and firmly ruled out joining the imperialist bloc.

“Of course, the security policy situation has changed,” the communists said. “The Swedish investments abroad are now more threatened than ten years ago because the contradictions have been sharpened.

“That is why Swedish politicians act to defend their own investments, and they cannot do it by themselves. So, it’s pretty simple: When the capital calls, congressional decisions mean nothing.”

Finnish communists voiced similar opposition to Helsinki’s plans to join, warning it places the country vulnerable to attack and would deepen regional militarization.

The party highlighted eight reasons why the Nordic country should not join the alliance following Sunday’s announcement by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

Speaking at the presidential palace, the pair argued that NATO membership has become a necessity with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine changing the country’s security situation. But the KTP warned that joining the alliance would end Finland’s permanent status as a non-aligned country and place it at risk of war, rather than guarantee its safety.

“[Finland] would be at the forefront of great power conflicts. This would increase its vulnerability to military attacks. In this way, Finland would contribute to the promotion of militarism and armaments in its neighboring areas, while rejecting the valuable legacy of all its policies since the second world war,” the KTP said.

The Finnish communists insisted that the U.S.—which effectively leads NATO—“is the most dangerous and militarily active state in the world.

“The United States has been in a virtual state of war throughout its existence,” the statement added, insisting the global imperialist superpower could not be trusted.

Finland’s membership of the military alliance, like that of Sweden, could be “fast tracked” according to NATO, though Turkey has suggested it could veto both. Ankara accuses Sweden and Finland of harboring supposed “terrorists,” linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Turkey has demanded the extradition of a number of alleged PKK supporters, security guarantees, and an end to an arms embargo in return for its support.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Stockholm and Helsinki against making “a grave mistake,” but gave no hints of an immediate Russian military reaction.


Steve Sweeney
Steve Sweeney

Steve Sweeney writes for Morning Star, the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. He is also a People's Assembly National Committee member, patron of the Peace in Kurdistan campaign, and a proud trade unionist. Steve Sweeney escribe para Morning Star, el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña. También es miembro del Comité Nacional de la Asamblea Popular, patrocinador de la campaña Paz en Kurdistán y un orgulloso sindicalista.