BRUSSELS: Finland will join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Tuesday (April 4), marking the completion of the Nordic country’s fast track to joining the military alliance after the war. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials said.
Finland shares a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia, meaning NATO’s border with Russia would be twice as long, and the move drew pledges from Moscow that it would bolster its forces in border areas. .
“Tomorrow we will welcome Finland as the 31st member of NATO, making Finland safer and our alliance stronger,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters. in Brussels, hailing the move as “historic”.
“For the first time we will raise the Finnish flag at NATO headquarters. It will be a good day for the security of Finland, for the security of Northern Europe and for NATO as a whole,” Stoltenberg said.
His office said Finnish President Sauli Niinisto would travel to Brussels to attend the ceremony.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February prompted Finland and neighboring Sweden to apply to join NATO, giving up decades of military disengagement.
The final barrier to Finland’s membership was removed last week when the Turkish parliament voted to approve Helsinki’s application even if the country kept Sweden’s bid.
“President Putin went to war with Ukraine with the express purpose of getting less NATO,” Stoltenberg said. “He’s becoming the complete opposite.”