The Norwegian far-left Reds have ruined the overwhelming support of the Norwegian parliament for a bid by Sweden and Finland to participate in NATO. When the issue was brought to vote this week, the Reds were the only party to oppose, and their leaders were roundly criticized.
Labor Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre accused the Reds of not showing solidarity as Russia invaded Ukraine and escalated verbal attacks on other parts of Europe and the west. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine urged both Sweden and Finland to end the year of neutrality and to join NATO to further strengthen Europe and their own defenses.
Støre strongly supported both countries and called the parliamentary vote on Thursday “historic.”He told the newspaper Aftenposten It also marks a “historic shift in Europe” and means paving the way for much stronger defense cooperation among all five Scandinavian countries.
However, the Reds have ruined Støre’s hopes for unanimous support for NATO expansion in Congress. “What the Reds really say is that NATO should prevent the two countries from joining,” he said. Aftenposten.. “I think it goes against solidarity.”
When both Finland and Sweden finally voted in favor of joining NATO in May, they were widespread and NATO Secretary-General Jensstrutenberg was convinced that the application process would proceed quickly. It seemed to be there. But Turkey has since ruined it and submitted a long list of requests. All current NATO members must approve all new members.
In Norway, only the Reds and the Socialist Left Party (SV) were skeptical, arguing that tensions with Russia would increase, especially in northern Norway. Even SVs, which have long supported the Nordic military alliance rather than NATO membership, eventually supported Sweden and Finland.
It left only the Reds to vote against it. Reds leader Bjornner Moxnes did not give in, inferring that “in democracy, we can think differently and land in different reactions.” He still believes that including Sweden and Finland in NATO will increase tensions and the risk of a nuclear war, especially between the United States and Russia.
He found no support among parliamentary colleagues, and Liberal leaders even claimed that the Reds’ refusal to support Sweden and Finland at NATO “would appear in history books.” It’s as if the Reds are closing the door in the face of Sweden and Finland. “