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It's official! Finland joins NATO, ignoring threats posed by Russia amid Ukraine war

The latest move is considered a major blow to Russia with a historic realignment of the continent triggered by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Brussels Updated on: April 04, 2023 20:30 IST
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, centre, Finnish
Image Source : AP NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, centre, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, left, and United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Finland joined NATO: In a major development, after a year of twists and turns, Finland has officially joined the NATO military alliance, ignoring the threats posed by Russia.  The latest move is considered a major blow to Russia with a historic realignment of the continent triggered by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Finland Prime Minister Sauli Niinisto said that the era of military non-alignment in the country's history has come to an end and added a new era has begun.

"Finland has today become a member of the defence alliance NATO. The era of military non-alignment in our history has come to an end. A new era begins," he said in a statement released on Twitter.

"Each country maximizes its own security. So does Finland. At the same time, NATO membership strengthens our international position and room for manoeuvre. As a partner, we have long actively participated in NATO activities. In the future, Finland will make a contribution to NATO's collective deterrence and defence," he argued.

Finland PM says membership was not targeted against anyone 

Commenting on the issue, the Prime Minister said the membership was not targeted against anyone and added it would not change the foundations or objectives of Finland's foreign and security policy.

"Finland's membership is not targeted against anyone. Nor does it change the foundations or objectives of Finland's foreign and security policy. Finland is a stable and predictable Nordic country that seeks peaceful resolution of disputes," he noted.

Russia to take stern action

Barely minutes after Helsinki joined the now 31-member military alliance, Russia warns of taking "retaliatory measures" to address the "security threats" posed by the newly joined member. Earlier, it had also warned it would bolster forces near Finland if NATO sends any additional troops or equipment to what is its 31st member country.

Earlier, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Moscow “will be forced to take military-technical and other retaliatory measures to counter the threats to our national security arising from Finland’s accession to NATO.”

It said Finland’s move marks “a fundamental change in the situation in Northern Europe, which had previously been one of the most stable regions in the world.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Finland’s membership reflects the alliance’s anti-Russian course and warned that Moscow will respond depending on what weapons NATO allies place there. But he also sought to play down the impact, noting that Russia has no territorial disputes with Finland.

It’s not clear what additional military resources Russia could send to the Finnish border. Moscow has deployed the bulk of its most capable military units to Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said no more troops would be sent to Finland unless it asked for help.

Also Read: 'Biggest risk if Putin wins Russia-Ukraine war': NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg at Munich Conference

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