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Russian intelligence plans to hinder Finland and Sweden's entry into NATO

Russian intelligence plans to hinder Finland and Sweden's entry into NATO The Russian special services attempted to hinder Finland and Sweden's entry into NATO (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

Russia planned operations aimed at preventing Finland and Sweden from joining the North Atlantic Alliance. Moscow was preparing a campaign involving incitement to demonstrations in these countries, among other actions, according to the Finnish media outlet Yle.

Journalists have obtained a secret intelligence report detailing plans by Russian intelligence services to organize campaigns to obstruct Finland and Sweden's entry into NATO.

"The plan is revealed in a note prepared by a Russian intelligence officer, initially passed to the Investigative Reporting Center Dosje," the material states.

According to the plans, violent demonstrations, following the burning of the Quran in Sweden, intensified fear of Islam in European Union countries. The document refers to instructions to escalate such tensions further.

Russian intelligence aimed to increase tensions between Türkiye and European countries along with NATO.

Law enforcement confirmed they were aware of the Russian intelligence planned to incite demonstrations in Finland.

It's worth noting that the documents obtained by Yle journalists did not indicate the successful implementation of these plans by Russia in Finland.

The Russian intelligence plan lists methods for organizing persecution campaigns. Among them:

  • Planned demonstrations in major European cities mocking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • One method involves applying graffiti and writings against Islam and Erdogan in prominent EU locations.
  • Widespread dissemination of demonstration footage on social media.
  • Execution of planned demonstrations noted in the released materials from Russian intelligence.

In addition to the plan document, journalists received a report on the executed operation. It meticulously documented a Russian persecution campaign held in central Paris in March 2023. Demonstrations against Islam and Türkiye were organized in the city.

Information regarding Russia's plans was leaked to the Investigative Reporting Center Dosje intermittently: at the end of last year and in the spring 2023.

Entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO

In May 2022, Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership. Finland became NATO's 31st member in April 2023. Sweden's entry has been delayed due to Türkiye and Hungary's positions, although previously Stockholm intended to join the North Atlantic Alliance together with Finland.

Earlier, Budapest claimed it wouldn't hinder Sweden once Ankara ratified. However, Türkiye insists Stockholm should take more action to suppress the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which the EU and the US also consider a terrorist organization. Sweden, however, claimed it had already taken all necessary steps for NATO membership.

On October 23, Turkish President Erdogan signed the protocol for Sweden's entry into NATO for consideration in the Turkish parliament. According to reports, the Turkish ruling party may postpone the vote on Sweden's NATO membership until the end of the year.