Creator: Eric Haynes

"We’ve laid out for the leadership of Iran what we’re willing to accept in order to get back into the JCPOA" US president Joe Biden said at a press conference in Jerusalem on July 14. "We’re waiting for their response. When that will come, I’m not certain, but we’re not going to wait forever."

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses media representatives during a press conference at the NATO summit at the Ifema congress centre in Madrid, on June 30, 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

"The decisions we have taken in Madrid," North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said as a summit of the alliance's members closed in Madrid on June 30, "will ensure that our Alliance continues to preserve peace, prevent conflict, and protect our people and our values."

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President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan welcomed president Sauli Niinistö and his wife Jenni Haukio to Beijing on 14 January 2019

 At the end of May, I came to Helsinki as the 20th Ambassador of China to Finland. At the moment I arrived, I was deeply impressed by the beautiful scenery of Helsinki and the Finns honest and hospitality immediately. Later I called on the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and presented the Letter of Credence to President Sauli Niinistö on 2 June.

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Portrait of Paasikivi in a hall named after him at the Finnish embassy in Moscow

Many people, both at home and abroad, have wondered about the easy and unbothered way in which Finland has left its military non-alignment policy behind. Nostalgia for the past seventy years, with its assertions of neutrality, politics of friendship, and bridge-building, is limited in a tense new world.

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Finlands ambassador Klaus Korhonen (L) handing in the NATO membership application to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Bryssels on 18th of May 2022.

The decision by Finland to apply for membership in NATO stems from obvious and unarguable security concerns engendered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Indeed, this decision is so predictable from the Realist perspective on international relations that it will surely be used in future textbooks.

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Members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces walk to their position near Pokrovske, eastern Ukraine on May 4, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

As a European-American in New York following the news on both sides of the Atlantic, I can readily see the flow of opinion from the US to Europe and the US pressure with regard to Russia and Ukraine. Those who hesitate will soon find themselves in the spotlight of American Media. Combined with political leverage, this seems to be working well.

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Journalists wait outside Finnish Parliament , during the debate to apply to join NATO , on April 20, 2022 in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Finnish Public Service Media has the legal and professional mandate to reflect a diversity of opinions and provide an information platform that is not reflective of a political agenda. This is not happening with the English language Yle platform.

In their reports from the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine until the end of April, 60% of their articles promoted a pro-Nato or pro-military alignment perspective. Conversely, less than 7% could be construed as being anti-Nato or anti-military alignment.

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Nej till NATO -text in a sign at the Left Alliance Labour Day march in Helsinki on May 1st 2022.

It's deeply unfortunate that even some MPs in the Left Alliance are now publicly advocating Finnish membership of NATO.

An Atlanticist hybrid of US power and British ‘diplomacy’, NATO is a deeply pro-capitalist and imperialist organization. From the start, it has used the ideology of an external enemy – first the USSR, now Russia – to attack and repress socialist ideas and politics at home and in what were once the colonies.

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Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto speaking at a plenary session about NATO membership in Helsinki on 20th of April 2022.

The events in Ukraine have opened a debate in many countries about NATO membership, with Russia already threatening peace in the Baltic region. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has expressed her intention to hold a referendum on Scotland’s independence by the end of 2023. If she is serious about holding a referendum by then, NATO alignment is something that Scotland must consider carefully over the next year.

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Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked Finnish people’s sense of security. Having had their own wars with Russia before, Finns started to picture Russian tanks rolling down the streets in Helsinki. Iodine tablets were sold out from drug stores, queues for passport renewals were prolonged and record number of Finns signed up for military training.

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Tesla chief Elon Musk has launched a hostile takeover bid for Twitter, insisting it was a "best and final offer" and that he was the only person capable of unlocking the full potential of the platform. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

When Elon Musk bought the single largest stake in Twitter, then announced plans to acquire the whole company instead of just accepting a seat on its board, the response varied:

Hosannas from many on the "right" who feel like they don't get a fair shake from Twitter's moderation/ban policies.

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