Finland set to join NATO on Tuesday as its 31st member

AFP | | Posted by Animesh Chaturvedi
Apr 03, 2023 06:03 PM IST

Finland will join NATO amid security concerns due to Russian invasion of Ukraine, after years of non-alignment.

Finland's flag will be hoisted outside NATO headquarters on Tuesday when it becomes the newest member of the Western alliance, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Finland's flag will be hoisted outside NATO headquarters on Tuesday(Twitter)
Finland's flag will be hoisted outside NATO headquarters on Tuesday(Twitter)

"Tomorrow we will welcome Finland as the 31st member," Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a historic meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin's all-out invasion of Ukraine last year upended European security and pushed Finland -- and its neighbour Sweden -- to drop decades of non-alignment and seek to join NATO's protective umbrella.

Also Read: Finland's membership will…: What NATO chief said

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.

Also Read: Finland clears last hurdle to join NATO, flanked by Turkey

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, 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, Helsinki said.

"President Putin went to war against Ukraine with a clear aim to get less NATO," Stoltenberg said.

“He's getting the exact opposite.”

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