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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Finland joins NATO: A new chapter in the country’s foreign policy

According to the NATO chief General Jens Stoltenberg, the Finnish flag will be raised at a ceremony during a "historic week."

On Tuesday, Finland will become the latest member of NATO, the military alliance that has been at the forefront of global security since its creation in 1949. The move comes as the Finnish government seeks to strengthen its ties with the West and assert its position as a key player in the European security landscape.

Why Finland decided to join NATO?

For decades, Finland had maintained a policy of neutrality, staying out of military alliances and focusing instead on building strong bilateral relationships with its neighbors. However, recent events have forced the country to reconsider its stance.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the increasingly assertive behavior of Russia have raised concerns about Finland’s security and its ability to defend itself in the face of a potential threat.

What will Finland’s NATO membership mean for the alliance?

Finland’s membership is a significant development for NATO, as it represents a major expansion of the organization’s reach and influence in Northern Europe.

The country’s strategic location, bordering Russia and with a long coastline along the Baltic Sea, makes it a key player in the region’s security architecture. It also adds to NATO’s overall military capabilities, bringing with it a highly trained and well-equipped armed forces.

What does this mean for Finland’s relationship with Russia?

The move is likely to be seen as a provocation by Russia, which has long viewed Finland as within its sphere of influence. However, Finnish officials have been keen to stress that the move is not aimed at antagonizing Moscow and that they remain committed to maintaining a constructive relationship with their powerful neighbor.

In fact, many experts believe that Finland’s NATO membership could actually serve as a stabilizing force in the region, helping to deter any potential aggression from Russia.

Read More: Turkey becomes last NATO nation to ratify Finland membership

What are the challenges ahead for Finland?

Joining NATO is not without its challenges, however. The move has been met with opposition from some segments of Finnish society, who fear that it could lead to a deterioration in the country’s relationship with Russia and increase the risk of a conflict.

There are also concerns about the cost of membership and the need to bring the country’s armed forces up to NATO standards. However, the government has argued that these challenges are outweighed by the benefits of joining the alliance, including increased security and access to NATO’s military capabilities.

Finland’s decision to join NATO marks a significant shift in the country’s foreign policy and represents a major development for the military alliance. While the move is likely to be seen as a provocation by Russia, it is also expected to contribute to stability in the region and enhance NATO’s overall capabilities.

However, there are also challenges ahead for Finland, including the need to bring its armed forces up to NATO standards and to manage its relationship with Moscow.