Finland became the 14th country to acquire Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II fighter. While not a member of NATO, Finland is a member of the European Union and a liberal democracy—in short, the kind of country with whom the U.S. would like to share the F-35. Finland has been content with its neutral status and has not gone out of its way to openly oppose Russia; the relationship between the two countries is largely cordial and functional. But given the turmoil in Eastern Europe, and the potential for aggressive overtures from Russia, the adoption of the F-35 may indicate that Helsinki does not expect to remain a neutral actor forever. I have written more on this subject here.
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