The Nordic country will officially join the US-led military bloc after ratification by Trkiye
Finland will officially become the 31st member of NATO on Tuesday, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced in a statement on Monday.
“This is a historic week,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. “From tomorrow, Finland will be a full member of the alliance,” he said, adding that “it will be a good day for Finland’s security, for Nordic security and for NATO as a whole.”
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen are expected to attend the accession ceremony in Brussels, along with Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, who promised to emphasize NATO’s support for Ukraine during the meeting.
The move comes just three days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the ratification of the Nordic country’s entry into the organization. This ends a protracted accession process that began last summer when Finland and Sweden abandoned their traditional position of neutrality and applied to join NATO, citing concerns about possible Russian aggression.
Türkiye had opposed the bids from Helsinki and Stockholm citing their alleged support for “terrorist groups”. Last month, however, Erdogan praised Finland’s “genuine and concrete steps” to address Turkish security concerns. He has not yet given a clear indication of when Ankara will ratify Sweden’s request to join the bloc.
Moscow, meanwhile, has reacted to Finland’s accession to NATO by saying Russia will have no choice but to boost its military potential on its western and northwestern borders in response. “In the event that forces and assets of other NATO members are deployed in Finland, we will take additional measures to reliably ensure Russia’s military security,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told RIA Novosti on Monday.
Last month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow “regrets” Finland and Sweden’s decision to join the US-led bloc, noting that Russia “poses no threat to these countries, as it has no disputes with them.”