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Business News/ News / World/  Finland's decision to join NATO and its impact on geopolitics- Explained

Finland joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on Tuesday and became its 31st member. The country's bid to join the military alliance came soon after Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine last year. The move was welcomed by leaders of the NATO countries while Russia called it dangerous which can further escalate the conflict in Ukraine.

"For almost 75 years, this great alliance has shielded our nations and continues to do so today. But war has returned to Europe and Finland has decided to join NATO and be part of the world's most successful alliance," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Why did Finland decide to join NATO?

In February 2022, Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine seeking the "demilitarisation" and "denazification" of the country.

Finland shares a 1,340km long border with Russia and during the Soviet days, both countries signed a “friendship agreement," in which Finland agreed to be a neutral country. During that time NATO was seen as a challenge to the Soviet Union's expansion after Second World War.

Before its invasion, Ukraine showed its interest in joining the military alliance as it was facing repeated threats from Russia, which invaded Crimea in 2014.

War in the neighborhood made the decision easy for countries like Finland and Sweden and just months after the Russian invasion, they formally applied for membership in NATO, as all the members of the military alliance agree to help each other in case of an attack on one.

While Finland and Sweden applied together for membership in NATO, only Finland joined the military alliance as both countries faced certain hurdles in their bid for membership.

According to the rules of the membership, all members of the military alliance must agree to the entry of a new member and two NATO members Turkey and Hungary were not comfortable with Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

Turkey's government claimed that Finland and Sweden supported “Kurdish terrorists." After much diplomatic outreach, the country allowed Finland to join NATO only on 30 March while it is still blocking the membership bid of Sweden.

How Finland joining NATO will impact geopolitics?

Now, Finland's long border with Russia will work for NATO and will double the size of its border with Russia. The increased presence around the Russian border means more swift action against any of Russia's dangerous moves.

Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu called the move dangerous and warned that it could escalate the Ukraine war further.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia is being forced to take countermeasures to ensure its security in the region. The country is warning to increase its military presence in western and northwestern regions to keep a check on NATO.

Geopolitical thinkers are also warning that after joining NATO, European nations reduce their focus on defense capabilities and start relying more on bigger countries like the United States.



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Devesh Kumar
I cover politics, geo-politics, economy, and technology and have keen interest in understanding and analyzing the complex issues that shape our world. I am committed to delivering well-researched, balanced, and thought-provoking stories that provides insights into the key trends and developments.
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Updated: 05 Apr 2023, 04:28 PM IST
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