Finland’s NATO membership doubles alliance’s border with Russia in major blow to Vladimir Putin.
As the blue-and-white Finnish flag rose outside NATO headquarters on Tuesday, a new 1,340-kilometre line was being drawn in the sand.
Finland’s membership into the world’s largest military alliance has doubled the length of member states’ borders with Russia.
It is a searing blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has long complained about NATO’s expansion toward Russia and partly used that as a justification for his country’s war with Ukraine.
Already, Helsinki’s strategic shift has drawn an angry warning of “countermeasures” from the Kremlin.
“What we see is that President Putin went to war against Ukraine with a declared aim to get less NATO,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.
“He’s getting the exact opposite.”
The alliance’s 31st member takes the NATO frontier to 2,500 kilometres.
So, what does the major expansion mean for Finland and what can we expect from NATO — and Russia — next?