The Republic of Finland officially became the 31st member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Tuesday. Having signed the accession protocol to join NATO on July 2, 2022, the case of Finland has become the fastest accession process in the treaty’s history.
“When Putin launched his brutal war of aggression against the people of Ukraine, he thought he could divide Europe and NATO. He was wrong. Today, we are more united than ever,” said U.S. President Joe Biden in a statement. “And together—strengthened by our newest Ally Finland—we will continue to preserve transatlantic security, defend every inch of NATO territory, and meet any and all challenges we face.”
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called it “outstanding news” that Finland joined NATO.
“Russia’s brutal escalation of its war against Ukraine has prompted leaders across Europe to get more serious about collective security. But the people of Finland have long been ahead of the curve,” McConnell stated in a release. He added that he hopes NATO will welcome Sweden into the alliance by this summer.
Writing on Telegram, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated Finland.
“My sincere congratulations to Finland and President Sauli Niinistö on joining NATO on the 74th anniversary of its founding,” he wrote. “Amid Russian aggression, the alliance became the only effective guarantee of security in the region.”