NATO will host this Tuesday Finland as the thirty-first formal member of the Allianceonce its accession process has been completed, with a ceremony the same day that the allied foreign ministers meet at the organization’s headquarters.
“Tomorrow we will welcome Finland as the thirty-first member of NATO, making Finland and our Alliance stronger,” announced the Allied Secretary General, Jens Stoltenbergin a press conference this Monday.
The Norwegian politician explained that, in a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. GMT), they will raise the Finnish flag “for the first time” at the Alliance headquarters.
“This is a truly historic day, a great day for the Alliance,” said Stoltenberg, who recalled that the ceremony will coincide with the 74th anniversary of the birth of NATO, on April 4, 1949.
Previously, Stoltenberg will meet with the Finnish president, Sauli Niinistoand after the ceremony, the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Alliance with Finland as a full member will begin.
Turkey was the last of the current 30 allies to ratify Finland’s NATO accession protocoland for the process to be completed, you must deposit the “instrument of accession” with the US Department of State.
However, it is expected that the Turkish foreign minister will deliver the documents tomorrow to the head of the US State Department, Antony Blinkenwhen both coincide in Brussels.
The Norwegian politician also pointed out that, with the integration of Finland, the land border between the Alliance and Russia will be “more than double” than the current one, so if the Russian president, Vladimir Putin “went to war against Ukraine with the clear goal of having less NATO”, he is getting “the opposite”.
“Finland will bring to the Alliance substantial military forces, well trained, well equipped, also with a large army of reservists,” Stoltenberg said, stressing that Helsinki is “among the few countries that did not reduce defense investment at the end of World War II”.
While Finland will complete its path to the Alliance tomorrow, Sweden, which applied to join at the same time, is still waiting to receive the go-ahead from Hungary and Turkey.
Ankara continues to have doubts about Sweden’s commitments to tackle Kurdish terrorism.
Stoltenberg today expressed his confidence that Sweden will become a member of the Alliance, which he considered “a priority for NATO” and “for me”, adding that he hopes that this will happen in the “near future”.
“It is the fastest accession process in history,” he added, in any case, about the progress of both countries, which were formally invited to join the Alliance last summer.