Finland becomes 31st member of NATO

Finland has become the 31st member of the NATO security alliance, and its flag will soon be raised at the alliance’s headquarters, the BBC reports.

The Finnish foreign minister signed the accession document, and handed it to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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.”

Finland shares a 1,340-km eastern frontier with Russia and formally applied to join NATO with Sweden last May because of the war in Ukraine.

“This will make Finland safer and NATO stronger,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Tuesday.

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.

Mr Stoltenberg said NATO would ensure Sweden would become the next member to join.

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