BRUSSELS (AP) – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that Finland will become the 31st member of the world’s largest military alliance on Tuesday, prompting a warning from Russia that it will bolster defenses near its common border if NATO deploys any forces in the region. his alliance. A New member.
“This is a historic week,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels. “As of tomorrow, Finland will be a full member of the coalition.” He said he hoped Sweden could join NATO in the coming months.
On Tuesday afternoon, the former Norwegian prime minister said, “We will raise the Finnish flag for the first time here at NATO headquarters. It will be a good day for Finland’s security, for the security of the North and for NATO as a whole.”
Stoltenberg said that Türkiye is the last country To certify Finland’s membership, it will deliver official transcripts to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday. Stoltenberg said he would next invite Finland to do the same.
The ceremony will be attended by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Defense Minister Ante Kakkonen, as well as Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.
“It is a historic moment for us. For Finland, the most important objective of the meeting will be to underscore NATO’s support for Ukraine at a time when Russia continues its illegal aggression. “We seek to strengthen stability and security throughout the Euro-Atlantic region.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said that Moscow will respond to Finland’s accession to NATO by strengthening its defenses if necessary.
“We will strengthen our military capabilities in the west and northwest,” Grushko said in remarks reported by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. “In the event of the deployment of forces of other NATO members on the territory of Finland, we will take additional steps to ensure Russia’s military security.”
The announcement of Finland’s entry comes after Finnish voters gave conservative parties a boost in elections over the weekendand denying left-wing Prime Minister Sanna Marin another term. Marin advocated for her country to join NATO.
Fearing they might be targeted after Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, northern neighbors Finland and Sweden have abandoned their traditional positions of military non-alignment to seek protection under NATO’s security umbrella.
All thirty allies signed the protocols of accession of Finland and Sweden. Türkiye and Hungary delayed the process for several months, but backed away from Finland. Turkey has sought guarantees and assurances from both sides, particularly with regard to countering extremism. Hungary’s demands were never explicit.
NATO must unanimously approve the admission of new members. NATO officials are also keen to include Sweden in the fold before the meeting of US President Joe Biden and his counterparts in NATO in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on July 11 and 12.
“Sweden was not left alone. Sweden is as close as it can come as a full member,” Stoltenberg said.
Gary Tanner in Helsinki contributed to this report.
“Travel specialist. Typical social media scholar. Friend of animals everywhere. Freelance zombie ninja. Twitter buff.”
He criticized Trump for congratulating Kim Jong Un on the WHO deal
India train crash: More than 200 dead after Odisha accident
Moscow says Russia destroyed Ukraine’s “last warship” in the Black Sea