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Finland joins NATO in historic shift, Russia threatens 'counter-measures'


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finland-set-join-nato-historic-shift-while-sweden-waits-2023-04-04
Reuters

Anne Kauranen and Andrew Gray

Apr. 4 2023

HELSINKI/BRUSSELS, April 4 (Reuters) - Finland formally joined NATO on Tuesday, its flag unfurling outside the military bloc's Brussels headquarters, in a historic policy shift brought on by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, drawing a threat from Moscow of "counter-measures".

Finland's accession, ending seven decades of military non-alignment, roughly doubles the length of the border that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shares with Russia and bolsters its eastern flank as the war in Ukraine grinds on with no resolution in sight.

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

Stoltenberg earlier noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had cited opposition to NATO's eastward enlargement as one justification for invading Ukraine.

"He is getting exactly the opposite. ... Finland today, and soon also Sweden will become a full fledged member of the alliance," Stoltenberg said.

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