So there is a DEFINITE seperation between invading a Friendly Neutral, and a friendly/allied territory.
That is what we’re currently trying to determine.
A) if the US controls finland (or has fighters there), it’s no longer neutral. It MUST be at war to be in Finland, no other way around it.
B) if any axis power declares war on Russia on the Europe side of the map, Russia is no longer neutral (it’s at war with someone, so it’s a friendly power to the Allies).
C) Declaring War occurs at the beginning of the move phase, and scrambling occurs at the end (at which point Russia is at war with at least one Axis power).
So in your example, as Russia is not neutral, and the US is not neutral, US planes in Finland can scramble to the seazone against an attack on Russia.
Correct, except that TheDefinitiveS said “UK”, not “US”, but that is a minor point. Either way, the scrambling power is at war.
Neutral non player powers are different, in that they never automatically flip to a side, they just change to “friendly neutrals”.
Not exactly true. When attacked, they join the opposite side from the attacker.
And even “friendly neutrals” require a non combat move into them to take control, even after they’re forces have been activated by a failed enemy attack.
After being attacked, they are no longer neutral, but friendly to the opposite side from their attacker. However, the territory and forces are uncontrolled, as you say. The question at hand is the timing of this status change.
And a friendly neutral is not the same as a player power not yet at war - they have completely different diplomatic rules. For example, if Russia is not at war on the Europe map, Britain CANNOT noncombat move through their spaces. It is NOT the same as a friendly neutral, for lack of a better term it’s a Neutral Power, completely different than a Friendly Neutral or a Strict Neutral.