Finland is now officially a member of the NATO defence alliance. The admission came on the sidelines of a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministry at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.
At a ceremony in the square in front of the headquarters, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Finland and called the membership process the fastest in the alliance’s history.
Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö thanked him for his membership. Both Jens Stoltenberg and Sauli Niinistö mentioned Sweden and hoped that the country would soon join NATO. Sweden applied for membership at the same time as Finland, but Turkey in particular has been on the back foot of Swedish membership.
Finland’s flag was hoisted to the tune of the Finnish national anthem “Maamme” (Our Land), so it now flutters in the wind along with the flags of the 30 other member states and NATO. Finland is the 31st member state of NATO.