News, Politics

Finland Becomes The 31st Member of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Nmesoma Okwudili


April 5, 2023

Finland officially joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO on April 4, 2023, becoming the 31st member of the organisation. This ultimately signifies a significant change in the security landscape in northeastern Europe, which is approximately 830 miles from the alliance’s border with Russia.

“Finland’s military is highly trained and has actively participated in NATO-led operations. It shares values and strong democratic institutions in equal measure, according to the top U.S. diplomat.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established in 1849 to counter the threatening expansion of the Soviet Union in Europe after World War II. In addition, the United States viewed it as an important tool for preventing the resurgence of nationalist tendencies in Europe and promoting political integration on the continent. Its history, however, dates back to 1947, when France and the United Kingdom signed the Dunkirk Treaty. The Treaty was an act of alliance to prevent a German attack following the war. The United States, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, and Portugal are the first twelve military and political alliance members.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 precipitated the historical shift in Finland’s current membership with NATO. This invasion compelled neutral Sweden and Finland to abandon their stance of nonalignment and seek protection within NATO. Finland sought security under the collective defence pact of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all.

Finnish foreign minister Pekka Haavisto completed the accession process by delivering the formal document to U.S. secretary of state Anthony Blinken at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. The event marked the end of Finland’s era of nonmilitary alignment, which began after the country repelled a Soviet invasion attempt during World War II and chose to maintain a friendly relationship with Russia.

Also, during the ceremony on Tuesday evening, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg signalled the raising of the Finnish flag for the first time at the alliance headquarters in Belgium, stating, “It will be a good day for Finland’s security, Nordic security, and NATO as a whole.”

According to Jen Stoltenberg, Finland will receive an ironclad security guarantee. Article 5 of our collective defence clause – “one for all and all for one” – applies to Finland as of today.”

The Ukrainian government also expressed support for Finland’s action. The chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Andriy Yermak, penned, “Finland made the correct decision. Ukraine’s primary objective also includes joining NATO.

The celebrated membership of Finland in NATO represents a substantial shift in their security environment. This action is viewed as strategic and a political blow to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the Russian president who has consistently complained about the expansion of NATO towards Russia and used it as a justification for the attack on Ukraine. This membership can bolster collective defence and increase the capacity to respond to security threats and challenges in the European-Atlantic region.


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