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Finland Joins NATO as 31st Ally

On April 4, 2023, Finland became the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). NATO was formed in 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty, which is a security alliance of 30 countries from North America and Europe. NATO’s fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means.

Finland deposited an instrument of accession at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The approval was signed by the NATO allies on July 20, 2022, when all the existing 30 members of NATO ratified the country’s membership. The Instrument of Accession was handed over by the Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto, in the presence of the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. The NATO Secretary General then welcomed the Finnish President, Sauli Niinisto, to NATO Headquarters for a flag-raising ceremony to mark the occasion of accession.

The Secretary General of NATO thanked the Finnish President for his outstanding leadership and for supporting Finland all the way to this alliance. Finland’s entry into the NATO alliance is excellent in terms of Nordic security and is also beneficial for the alliance as a whole. It is also a failure of Russian efforts to make NATO null and void in the global world. The Secretary General noted that it was a particular failure of President Putin, who wanted to ‘slam the NATO door shut’, whereas it is just the opposite now and the NATO door remains open freely.

The NATO hymn and the Finnish national anthem were played as Finland’s flag was raised outside the NATO headquarters in the presence of all foreign ministers of the existing NATO Allies. Simultaneous flag-raising ceremonies took place at Allied Command Operations (SHAPE) in Mons (Belgium) and Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia (United States).

The Secretary General also concluded by saying, ‘Finland is safer, and NATO is stronger with Finland as an ally.” Your forces are substantial and highly capable; your resilience is second to none, and for many years troops from Finland and NATO countries have worked side by side as partners. From today on, we stand together as allies.

Later, in a press conference, President Niinsto spoke about the whole process until this day. He mentioned having full trust and support from NATO with full cooperation all this time. He also said how it was all a relief now that he and his citizens can add security and stability to their country without having to go through an extremely demanding process. Hints were also dropped about making Sweden the next member ally of NATO by both the Finnish President and the NATO Secretary General.