In development on Tuesday, Finland became the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) when its Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto, signed an accession paper and handed it to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at a ceremony in Brussels.
As per media reports, Moscow issued a warning that it would bolster its defenses in the region if necessary as Finland joined NATO.
The transfer completed an expedited application procedure that was started in May after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced Finland and its neighbor Sweden to end decades of military nonalignment and seek security as NATO members. The transfer represents the neighbor to Russia’s west officially joining the biggest military alliance in the world.
The alliance’s secretary general, the former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg said, “President Putin had as a declared goal of the invasion of Ukraine to get less NATO. He is getting exactly the opposite.”
Stoltenberg added, “Finland today, and soon also Sweden will become a full-fledged member of the alliance. Finland’s membership removes the room for miscalculation in Moscow about NATO’s readiness to protect Finland.”
Finland’s blue and white flag will soon fly alongside those of its partners outside NATO’s headquarters.
The border between NATO and Russia will nearly triple after Finland joins. The map of Finland and Russia shows that the two countries’ 1,340 km (832 mi) shared border.
Last month, Putin threatened to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Stoltenberg dismissed the threat, saying NATO had not observed any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture that required us to modify our attitude, but we would continue to be vigilant.