Finland joins NATO

Finland joins NATO

News: Finland became the latest member to join NATO after its application was ratified in record time.

What is NATO?
 NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a political and military alliance consisting of 31 member countries. It was formed in 1949 to promote mutual defence and collective security among its members.
 At present, NATO has 31 member countries. In 1949, there were 12 founding members of the Alliance:
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. Since then, 19 more countries have joined the Alliance: Greece and Türkiye (1952); Germany (1955); Spain (1982); Czechia, Hungary and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (2004); Albania and Croatia (2009); Montenegro (2017); North Macedonia (2020); and Finland (2023).
 HQ – Brussels, Belgium

Key provisions of NATO:
 Article 5 - Article 5 of the NATO treaty is a key provision that states that an attack on one member is an attack on all members. This provision has only been invoked once, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. However, NATO's protection does not extend to members' civil wars or internal coups.
 Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty sets out how countries can join the Alliance.
 Article 10 states that membership is open to any 'European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area'.
 Any decision to invite a country to join the Alliance is taken by the North Atlantic Council, NATO's principal political decision-making body, on the basis of consensus among all Allies.

Impact of Finland joining NATO:
 Finland has gained better security, but it is losing out on significant trade and tourism revenue it was making from Russia, and its status as a confidence-building presence in the Baltic Sea and Europe at large is being threatened.
 For NATO, the addition of Finland brings in a military trained to repel an attack from Russia and strengthens its position to station weapons closer to Russia.
 However, Russia sees this as a dangerous historical mistake that could escalate the Ukraine conflict and has said it will strengthen its military capacity in its west and northwest. 

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