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Finland Ends Decades-Long Military Neutrality, Joins NATO Amidst Heightened Geopolitical Tensions

Finland, which claimed to be a "military neutral country" during the Cold War, fully joined NATO on the 4th.


From this day on, Finland will be guaranteed security under NATO's collective defense system based on the U.S. nuclear sharing, and NATO, which marks its 74th anniversary, has doubled its border length with Russia.


Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Habisto delivered an official instrument of access to U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinkon on the afternoon of the 4th (local time) at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.


This is the last step in the regulation of membership that requires the newly joined member state to deposit its membership to the United States, which is the "fiduciary of the NATO treaty," thereby making Finland the 31st member. Along with the signing ceremony, a Finnish flag-raising ceremony was held.


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters, "It is a historic day," adding, "On April 4, 1949, the Treaty of Washington, NATO's founding treaty, was signed, and there is no better way to commemorate it than to welcome Finland as a member."


In particular, Stoltenberg mentioned Act 5, the core of the North Atlantic Treaty, meaning that "Finland will now be provided with ironclad security guarantees as it becomes a full member." 


Act 5, which symbolizes collective defense, stipulates that "an armed attack on one side of the member state is regarded as an attack on the entire member state and provides aid, including the use of force if necessary." 


Finland, which has a long 1,340km border with Russia, has been striving to increase its military power without cutting defense costs while advocating a military neutrality line. 

As a result, foreign media and experts say that NATO has secured large assets as its military readiness is already well-equipped compared to other European countries. 


For Russian President Vladimir Putin, who put forward the "Stop NATO Eastward" as the cause of his invasion of Ukraine, the joining of Finland has led to the opposite result of doubling the length of the border with NATO. 


"I think I want to say that Finland's joining is one of the things that I can thank Mr. Putin for," Blinkon told reporters at NATO headquarters. "It's because the invasion triggered what he was insisting on stopping."


Russia has warned it will respond to Finland's joining NATO.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a telephone conference with reporters that "Finland's accession to NATO is an infringement on Russian security and national interests," and warned that "Russia has no choice but to take strategic and tactical countermeasures to ensure security."


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Twitter, "I sincerely congratulate President Finland and President Saul Ninieste on their 74th anniversary of the founding of NATO."

"NATO has become the region's only effective security guarantee to combat Russian aggression," he said. "We expect the NATO summit in Vilnius (July) to bring Ukraine closer to our Euro-Atlantic goals."


Russia strongly protested. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a video conference that Finland's membership in NATO is an infringement of Russian security and national interests and warned that Russia will closely watch NATO's movements in Finland. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Finland's move would further escalate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.


Edited by Palak Chauhan[email protected]/

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