HomeInternational GeopoliticsRussia Ukraine war : Finland joins NATO as Russia’s war rages on...

Russia Ukraine war : Finland joins NATO as Russia’s war rages on in Ukraine

Source : Al-Jazeera

Russia Ukraine war : Finland joins NATO as Russia’s war rages on in Ukraine
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (left) hands over his nation’s accession document to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (centre) oversees a joining ceremony at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on April 4, 2023 [Johanna Geron/Pool/Reuters]

Russia Ukraine war : Finland joins NATO as Russia’s war rages on in Ukraine

Finland has joined NATO in a historic shift triggered by the war in Ukraine, prompting anger in Russia where officials have cast the move as a threat.

The Finnish flag was raised at the Brussels headquarters of the world’s largest military alliance on Tuesday afternoon, almost a year after Helsinki officially applied to join.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto earlier completed the accession process by handing over an official document to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken; the United States Department of State is the repository of NATO texts concerning membership.

Jens Stoltenberg, head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), hailed “a good day for Finland’s security, for Nordic security and for NATO as a whole”.

“This will make Finland safer and NATO stronger,” he said. “This has been the fastest accession process in NATO’s history.”

Finland President Sauli Väinämö Niinistö said membership was not “targeted against anyone”, adding his country was “stable and predictable”.

Finland applied in May, alongside Sweden, as fears of Russian aggression rose in northern Europe following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Finland’s membership is not complete without Sweden,” said Niinistö. “I look forward to Sweden joining us as the 32nd member.”

Neighbouring Sweden, which had avoided military alliances for more than 200 years, is being stalled by objections from NATO members Turkey and Hungary.

Political blow to Putin

Finland’s border with Russia stretches across 1,340km (833 miles).

Russia has long said NATO enlargement compromises its security and has promised to boost military capacity in its western and northwestern regions, in response to Finland’s membership.

Officials in Russia including President Vladimir Putin claim one of the reasons why armed forces were sent into Ukraine in February 2022 was to counter alleged Western plans to use Ukraine as a platform to aggress Russia.

They say they are now fighting a “hybrid war” against NATO and the West, which is backing Ukraine with multibillion-dollar packages of arms and financial support.

Just before accepting the documents, Blinken said: “I’m tempted to say this is maybe the one thing that we can thank Putin for.”

Teivo Teivainen, professor of world politics at the University of Helsinki, told Al Jazeera: “Most people in Finland think that Finland is safe under the protection of the fifth article of NATO.”

The idea behind Article 5 is that if one NATO member is attacked, every country in the alliance should take it as an act of aggression.

The new membership “is considered to increase the security of Finland”, Teivainen said.

INTERACTIVE - Finland joins NATO April 2023
(Al Jazeera)

Finnish membership means Russia’s border with NATO countries is now doubled – representing a major change in Europe’s security landscape.

Finland adopted neutrality after its defeat by the Soviets in World War II.

But months after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine sent a shiver of fear through Moscow’s neighbours, Finland’s leaders signalled they wanted to join the alliance.

The move is a strategic and political blow to Putin, but the alliance says it poses no harm to Moscow.

On Tuesday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Russia’s military leadership in a meeting that Finland’s accession “creates the risks of a significant expansion of the conflict” in Ukraine, according to a transcript published by his ministry.

But he said it would not affect the outcome of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

INTERACTIVE - NATO TIMELINE OF MEMBER states 2023 Finland

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat

All

IAF successfully conducts night vision goggles-aided landing in Eastern sector

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has achieved a significant milestone by successfully landing an aircraft using night vision goggles (NVG) for the first time...

With Project-75I Submarine Acquisition Facing Delays, MDL Shifts Focus to Indigenous 3,000-ton Project-76 Submarine Design

Source : IgMp Bureau Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), India's premier shipyard, has announced its intention to develop an entirely indigenous conventional submarine design by...

AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Updates

AMCA to be integrated with sophisticated indigenous Distributed Aperture System (DAS) that making it a formidable air asset for the Indian Air Force

Source : IgMp Bureau India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is on the brink of a revolutionary transformation with the integration of a sophisticated Distributed...

AMCA to incorporate the best features of both 5th and 6th Generation fighters: ADA sources

Source : IgMp Bureau India's strides toward indigenous air dominance receive a substantial boost with the green signal for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)...

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Archive Months

Miscellanous

India protests mob attack on Hindu Temple in Pakistan; calls it ‘systematic Persecution’

Source : RepublicImage: Republic World/APIndia has conveyed its protest to Pakistan over the vandalisation of a Hindu temple in Karachi and slammed it as...

IAF finishes black-topping of Nyoma landing strip near LAC

Source : The Hindu New Delhi: The Indian Air Force’s Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Nyoma, close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in...

Indian Army to procure 375 Light Bullet Proof Vehicle

Source : Indian Defence Updates (IDU)Ashok Leyland Light Bullet Proof VehilceThe Indian Army has released Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the procurement of 375...
Visits
error: Content is protected !!