“All 30 Nato allies have now ratified the accession protocol,” Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday. “Finland will formally join our alliance in the coming days.”
Finland’s membership represents the first enlargement since North Macedonia joined the alliance in 2020.
Sanna Marin, the Finnish prime minister, tweeted: “As allies, we will give and receive security. We will defend each other. Finland stands with Sweden now and in the future and supports its application.”
Finland’s imminent accession to Nato came as Russia said on Friday that a ceasefire in Ukraine would not enable it to achieve the goals of its “special military operation” at the moment.
Despite Turkey initially delaying Finland’s bid to join the western defence alliance, the speed of Finland’s negotiations and accession process has been striking and comes as Moscow prepares to take over the chair of the UN security council.
Finland’s move to joining Nato marks a staggering turn around in public opinion in the country. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, only a third of Finns supported joining Nato. Russia’s war on Ukraine led almost overnight to support for joining becoming an overwhelming majority.The move by Finland and Sweden to join Nato – condemned by Moscow as driven by Russophobic hysteria – is a severe blow to the Kremlin, which had justified its war against Ukraine by citing Nato expansion on its borders, but which ironically has driven more countries to join Nato.
Turkey’s parliament has ratified Finnish membership, but it is keeping Sweden in limbo, as Turkish officials say they want to see the country implement new anti-terror policies before giving Ankara’s green light. Following in Turkey’s footsteps, Hungary is now also delaying a decision on Sweden indefinitely — prompting criticism from Orbán’s critics.