KazPost

Kazakhstan News
Friday, Apr 12, 2024

Nato's border with Russia doubles as Finland joins

Nato's border with Russia doubles as Finland joins

Finland has become the 31st member of the Nato security alliance, doubling the length of member states' borders with Russia.

The Finnish foreign minister handed the accession document to the US secretary of state who declared Finland a member.

Then in bright sunshine in front of Nato's gleaming new headquarters, Finland's white-and-blue flag joined a circle of 30 other flags.

Finland's accession is a setback for Russia's Vladimir Putin.

He had repeatedly complained of Nato's expansion before his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said by attacking his neighbour, the Russian leader had triggered exactly what he had sought to prevent.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that Russia would be "watching closely" what happens in Finland, describing Nato's enlargement as a "violation of our security and our national interests".

A military band played Finland's national anthem followed by the Nato hymn. Beyond the perimeter fence a small group of protesters waving Ukrainian flags chanted "Ukraine in Nato", a reminder of why non-aligned Finland had asked to join along with Sweden in May 2022.

Finnish military personnel raised their country's flag at Nato headquarters for the first time


Finland shares a 1,340-km (832-mile) eastern frontier with Russia and after the war in Ukraine began Helsinki chose the protection of Nato's Article Five, which says an attack on one member is an attack on all.

In effect, it means if Finland were invaded or attacked, all Nato members - including the US - would come to its aid.

Russia's invasion prompted a surge in Finnish public opinion towards joining Nato to 80% in favour.

"It is a great day for Finland," said Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, proclaiming a new era for his country. Finland would be a reliable ally and its membership would not be a threat to anyone, he said. "Security and stability are those elements which we feel very strongly; if people can live in secure stable circumstances that's the basic element of happy life."

"This will make Finland safer and Nato stronger," said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier, describing it as a proud day for him and the alliance.

"President Putin had a declared goal of the invasion of Ukraine to get less Nato along its borders and no more membership in Europe, he's getting exactly the opposite."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was "tempted to say this is maybe the one thing we can thank Mr Putin for, because he once again here has precipitated something he claims to want to prevent by Russia's aggression".

Finland brings with it a well-equipped and trained, active armed force of about 30,000. It can also call on 250,000 reserves.

It also provides a challenge for Nato to help keep its long border with Russia secure, but it is already being included in Nato's latest defence plans to keep the alliance secure.

Finland has a highly trained military and a very big reserve force


Sweden's application has for now become stuck, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing Stockholm of embracing Kurdish militants and allowing them to demonstrate on the streets. Hungary is also yet to approve Sweden joining.

As he handed over the accession document to Mr Blinken, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said he had a very important initial task: "The task is to give to you for the deposit also our ratification for Swedish membership."

Mr Stoltenberg said the most important thing was that Sweden joined as soon as possible and the Finnish president said he looked forward to welcoming his Nordic neighbour at Nato's next summit in Lithuania in July.

Helsinki's journey to accession has lasted less than a year, and Tuesday's ceremony coincides with the 74th anniversary of Nato's founding in 1949.

"Finland's a terrific ally, very capable, shares our values and we expect a seamless transition into its proper seat at the table," US ambassador to Nato Julianne Smith told the BBC.

The Kremlin said that Russia was being forced to take counter-measures to ensure its own security, tactically and strategically, but pointed out it had never had disagreements with Helsinki in the way that Ukraine had become "anti-Russian".

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that Russia's short-range Iskander-M ballistic missile system had been handed over to Belarus and was capable of carrying nuclear as well as conventional weapons. Some Belarusian fighter jets were also capable of carrying nuclear weapons, he said.

Jens Stoltenberg said Nato had not yet seen any changes to Russia's nuclear posture that would require any change by the alliance. He added there would be no Nato troops stationed in Finland without the consent of the government in Helsinki.

Nato will now have seven members on the Baltic Sea, further isolating Russia's coastal access to St Petersburg and its small exclave of Kaliningrad.

Mr Peskov told the BBC that Russia would be watching closely how Nato used Finnish territory "in terms of basing weapons systems and infrastructure there which will be right up close to our borders, potentially threatening us".

"Based on that, measures will be taken," the Kremlin spokesman said.


Newsletter

Related Articles

KazPost
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
An Ominous Shift in Warfare: Western Powers Risk War Crimes and Violate International Norms with Cluster Bomb Supply to Ukraine
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
Corruption in the European Parliament - Business as usual
UK Crypto and Stablecoin Regulations Become Law as Royal Assent is Granted
Paris Suburb Grapples with Violence as Curfew Imposed: Saint-Denis Residents Express Dismay and Anger
A Delaware city wants to let businesses vote in its elections
Alef Aeronautics Achieves Historic Milestone with Flight Certification for World's First Flying Car
Google Blocked Access to Canadian News in Response to New Legislation
French Politicians Advocate for Pan-European Regulation on Social Media Influencers
×