After Finland officially becomes the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)'s 31st member Tuesday, the alliance's border with Russia is to grow considerably, thus reshaping the region's geopolitical scenario.
Tomorrow we will welcome Finland as the 31st member of NATO, making Finland and our Alliance stronger, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference Monday. The Norwegian officer also noted that Finland's accession process has been the fastest in NATO's modern history. He also told reporters that Finland brings a well-trained, well-equipped military to the alliance.
Stoltenberg also highlighted that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine with the clear objective of having less NATO. But he will get the exact opposite in return.
What we see is that President Putin went to war against Ukraine with a declared aim to get less NATO, Stoltenberg said. He's getting the exact opposite.
Russia immediately warned that it would bolster forces near Finland if NATO sent any additional troops or equipment to what will be its 31st member country. But NATO has said it has no immediate intention to step up its presence in Finland.
Finland's entrance into the military alliance Tuesday is less than a year after the country submitted its application in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The ceremony falls on NATO's very own birthday, the 74th anniversary of the signing of its founding Washington Treaty on April 4, 1949.
On Tuesday, the Finnish representative is scheduled to formally hand over the accession documents to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, whose office is the guardian of these documents.