Finland becomes 31st country to join NATO

Finland's bid to join NATO has been accepted, making it the alliance's 31st member. Both Finland and Sweden applied for membership in May 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. While Sweden has yet to be accepted, Finland's bid was approved today.

"We will raise the Finnish flag for the first time here at NATO headquarters. It will be a good day for Finland's security, for Nordic security, and for NATO as a whole," secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels at a conference of foreign affairs ministers.

Sanna Marin, the prime minister of Finland and leader of the Social Democrats was defeated last night in the Finnish elections by the centre-right National Coalition Party's Petteri Orpo. She was the one who applied for membership of NATO and will have to hand leadership over to her opponent.

While Finland's new position in NATO is a relief for Stoltenberg, he is eager to see Sweden accepted into the alliance. “All allies agree that Sweden’s accession should be completed quickly,” he said.

Finland boasts one of the most potent artillery reserves in Western Europe. It shares a 1,340km border with Russia, making it an ideal addition to the alliance as it doubles its border size with Russia.

"President Putin went to war against Ukraine with the clear aim to get less NATO," ​ Stoltenberg said. "He's getting the exact opposite."




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