Finland officially joined the NATO military alliance on April 4th after Turkey ratified the Nordic country’s membership. This ended its military non-alignment policy that Finland had had since 1945. The move was triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Finland becomes the 31st full NATO member and its accession roughly doubles the length of the border the NATO shares with Russia. Finns said their country’s entry into NATO made them feel more secure. The move is dealing a heavy blow to Russia. It responded by saying it would strengthen its military capacity in its west and northwest.
All NATO members must vote unanimously to admit a new country into the alliance. Finland and neighboring Sweden jointly applied for NATO membership in May 2022. But Sweden’s bid has stalled due to opposition from Turkey, whose president has accused Sweden of being too soft on groups that it deems to be terror organizations.