Finland Becomes 31st Member of NATO

On Tuesday Finland becomes the 31st member of NATO. Finland’s decision was provoked by Russia’s war on Ukraine and it increases the US-led alliance’s strength at the border with Russia.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Finland and its neighbour Sweden to drop decades of non-alignment to join NATO. Finland’s entry into NATO was delayed because of Turkey and Hungary. The path was cleared last week when the Turkish parliament voted to clear Finland’s last hurdle.

All that remains are Tuesday’s highly choreographed formalities at NATO headquarters. During the ceremony in Brussels, Finland’s foreign minister will hand over the formal accession papers to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the keeper of NATO’s founding treaty.

Then Finland’s blue-and-white national flag will be raised next to those of its new allies. This flag will be placed between those of Estonia and France, in front of the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Joining Nato places Finland under the alliance’s Article Five, the collective defence pledge that an attack on one member “shall be considered an attack against them all.”

NATO was created as a counterweight to the Soviet Union at the onset of the Cold War era.



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