BRUSSELS: Finland’s blue-and-white Nordic cross flag was hoisted exterior NATO headquarters on Tuesday because it grew to become the thirty first member of the alliance, in step one of a historic realignment of Europe’s defences sparked by Russia’s battle on Ukraine.
Western officers will now flip up the stress on their awkward allies Hungary and Turkey to elevate their block on Sweden, so it could actually additionally be part of.
Already Helsinki’s strategic shift — which ended many years of army non-alignment — has doubled the size of the US-led alliance’s land border with Russia and drawn an offended warning of “countermeasures” from the Kremlin.
Finland not asking NATO to deploy troops: alliance commander
Finland’s international minister formally sealed Helsinki’s membership by depositing the accession papers earlier than the Finnish flag was raised between these of France and Estonia to the singing of a choir exterior NATO’s gleaming Brussels headquarters.
“Finland now has the strongest pals and allies on the planet,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg mentioned.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, he mentioned, had “wished to slam NATO’s door shut. Right now we present the world that he failed, that aggression and intimidation don’t work.”
Becoming a member of NATO places Finland beneath the alliance’s Article 5, the collective defence pledge that an assault on one member “shall be thought-about an assault in opposition to all of them”.
This was the assure Finnish leaders determined they wanted as they watched Putin’s devastating assault on Uk.