The impact of Finland’s 2023 accession to NATO

The impact of Finland’s 2023 accession to NATO

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, against the backdrop of its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, changed the security landscape in Europe and acted as a catalyst for Finland’s accession to NATO.

After 30 years of close partnership with NATO, Finland joined the Alliance as a new member in April 2023.

With its geographic proximity to Russia, Finland shares a 1,300-km border with Russia and has a history of facing Russian aggression. Russia’s unprovoked and brutal full-scale war on Ukraine got Finland to rethink its defence strategy, and abandon its policy of military non-alignment.

While Finland now benefits from the protection of NATO membership and the collective defence clause (“one for all, all for one”) under Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty (also called the Washington Treaty), Finland’s membership also strengthens NATO’s collective deterrence and defence and the security of the Euro-Atlantic area.

Despite having a small population of 5.5 million, Finland has an impressive wartime strength of 280,000 military personnel, and that is due to its comprehensive conscription service.

The country also counts on strong artillery capabilities, a fleet of modern fighter jets, powerful mine hunting capabilities at sea and much more.

Finland is also situated in a potentially vulnerable area, including both the High North and the Baltic Sea, regions of high strategic importance. In this video, we look at what NATO membership means for Finland, and how the country contributes to the security of the Alliance.

Story/video: NATO

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