Finland Becomes NATO Member Tuesday

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Finland Becomes NATO Member

Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, said that Finland’s flag will be hoisted outside NATO Headquarters on Tuesday when it becomes the newest member of the Western alliance.

Mr. Stoltenberg spoke Monday during a press conference to present the next North Atlantic Council (NAC) Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

“Tomorrow we will welcome Finland as the 31st member,” AFP quoted Stoltenberg as having told reporters on the eve of a historic meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels.

The all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 by Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly upended European security and pushed Finland — and its neighbour Sweden — to drop decades of non-alignment and seek to join NATO’s protective umbrella.

Objections from Turkey and Hungary held up Helsinki’s bid for months, and are still blocking Stockholm, before the parliament in Ankara cleared the final obstacle for Finland with a vote last week.

Completing the ratification in well under a year still makes this the fastest membership process in the alliance’s recent history.

Now all that is left are the last highly choreographed formalities at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

Finland’s Foreign Minister will hand over the formal accession papers to United States (US) Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the keeper of NATO’s founding treaty, and the country’s blue-and-white flag will be raised alongside those of its new allies.

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto will speak at the event, according to Helsinki.

“President Putin went to war against Ukraine with a clear aim to get less NATO,” Stoltenberg said, adding: “He’s getting the exact opposite.”

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