Finland becomes member of NATO
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Finland shares a 1,340 kilometers (833 mi)-long border with Russia. By joining NATO, it roughly doubled the length of NATO borders with Russia.
"Until now, we have defended our country alone," said Defense Minister. "From now on, we can rely on getting outside help should things get tough. And of course, we are ready to help should someone be in trouble."
Kremlin representativesaid it was an "encroachment on our security and on Russia's national interests". He said Russia would closely monitor NATO activity in Finland and take "counter-measures".
"Finland's membership is not targeted against anyone. Nor does it change the foundations or objectives of Finland's foreign and security policy," read a statement by Finnish Presidentafter the accession documents were transferred.
"President Putin had as a declared goal of the invasion of Ukraine to get less NATO. He is getting exactly the opposite," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. "Finland today, and soon also Sweden will become a full-fledged member of the alliance".
In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year, public sentiment in Finland and Sweden, which were both non-aligned countries, shifted drastically, to 80% support in the former's case. On May 18, both nations submitted applications to join NATO. New members must have the support of all existing members before they can join.
The applications were held up by Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, because Finland and Sweden have granted political asylum to members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which Turkey views as a terrorist organization. Last week, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey voted to approve Finland.
Sweden still has to obtain the approval of both Hungary and Turkey before it can join. Hungary objects to Sweden based on its criticism of Viktor Orbán's government. A far-right group in Sweden held a -burning in front of the Turkish embassy in January, which was condemned by the Turkish government.
After Russia won theover Sweden in 1809, Finland became a of the tsarist . This lasted until the started in 1917 and Finland declared its independence.
In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Finland in a conflict called the . It ended with a treaty in 1940, under which Finland ceded territory to the Soviets. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 during World War II, . It ended with an armistice in 1944, and Finland relinquished .
Under President, Finland formally adopted a policy of neutrality in 1956.
- "Finnish President, Prime Minister announce support for joining NATO" — Wikinews, May 14, 2022
- Silvia Amaro. "Finland officially becomes a member of NATO, doubling the military alliance's border with Russia" — , April 4, 2023
- Paul Kirby. "Nato's border with Russia doubles as Finland joins" — , April 4, 2023
- Kostya Manenkov, Jari Tanner. "NATO flags raised in Helsinki as Finland joins alliance" — , April 4, 2023
- Sabine Siebold, Andrew Gray, Kate Abnett, Jan Strupczewski. "Putin triggered 'historic' Nordic enlargement of NATO - Stoltenberg" — , April 4, 2023
- Ivana Kottasová. "Turkey approves Finland's NATO application, clearing the last hurdle. Sweden is still waiting" — , March 31, 2023
- Press Release: "Finland and Sweden submit applications to join NATO" — , May 18, 2022
- "Main outlines of Finnish history" — , April 4, 2023 (date of access)