Putin’s attempted conquest of Ukraine has changed the political landscape of Europe. The fragile balance between the continent’s eastern and western powers has been toppled in a month’s worth of fighting. A resurgence in European regional security and arguably a rearrangement in global security has been the concern of the majority of the world since the invasion began. With these shifts comes previously neutral countries changing their stances — Sweden and Finland.

Finland, which has been practicing non-alignment since the Second World War, has experienced a drastic shift in its foreign policy since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. For decades, it has had a steady minority of 30% in favor of joining NATO, but recent events have caused the figure to double to 60%.

The Finnish Parliament currently stands with 98 of its members in favor of joining NATO, while 14 are currently against it. More importantly, all political parties within Finland recognize that the regional security climate has permanently changed.

A report by The Times stated that Finland’s application to NATO is expected in June, and Sweden is close to following.

“Russia is not the neighbor we thought it was,” Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said. “We need to be ready, of course, to face consequences.”

Sweden had also experienced a very dramatic change in public opinion about joining NATO, with a majority of their citizens wanting to join due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A poll done by Kantor-Sifo in March showed that 59% of respondents would support joining NATO if Finland were also to join. On the other hand, only 17% were against joining, and 24% were undecided.

“I do not exclude NATO membership in any way,” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said.

Currently, Finland has shown strong indications of joining the alliance. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that both Finland and Sweden could easily join NATO if they decided to apply. Furthermore, an unnamed Finnish official already said that their country was already “a member without being a member.”