The foreign minister bids farewell today Becca Haavisto Finland’s accession document to NATO. At the moment, Finland has become a member of NATO. The deposit took place in Brussels before the start of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers later in the day.
After completing the paper exercise, the Finnish flag is raised at NATO Headquarters and NATO Staff. The event in Brussels is witnessed by the president Sully Niinistoand Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Defense Minister You are Kakkonen.
HBL here lists some of the differences involved in entering into a defense pact.
1. The most important difference is that Finland is part of NATO’s common defense and is covered by the security guarantees in Article 5 according to the principle of “one for all, all for one”. This means that the threshold for attacking Finland militarily becomes much higher.
The plan is that no one should attack a member state for fear of the consequences. The attacker is then countered by the combined military resources of 31 countries (32 countries on Sweden’s adoption day). Defense guarantees still do not provide absolute security. There must be political will to build up the necessary military resources. Countries themselves decide what to contribute. Much depends on the great military will and power of the United States.
The only time Article 5 has been triggered so far was in connection with the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
2. Membership means that Finland falls under the umbrella of NATO’s nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons remain the cornerstone of NATO’s deterrence capability. They can be used to avert escalation on the part of Russia, which has recently emphasized its nuclear arsenal more and more.
NATO’s new strategy, approved this summer, states that “the Alliance’s strategic nuclear forces, in particular the US forces, are the ultimate guarantor of NATO’s security, while the nuclear forces of Great Britain and France have a deterrent role and contribute decisively to general security for the alliance.”
Practical issues and implementation of NATO’s nuclear weapons policy are the domain of the NATO Nuclear Planning Group. The NATO Secretary General chairs the group. Countries are usually represented by their defense ministers. Whoever becomes Finland’s new defense minister will sit at a table at which no Finn has sat before.
3. Finland’s defensive layout changes instantly. An interim operational plan based on previous operational defense plans for Finland has been drawn up and is effective from now on. It is about how Finnish defense planning relates to NATO planning. The plan takes into account the future position of Finland and Sweden in the alliance.
4. In recent years, NATO has increased its readiness and revised troop and materiel movement plans to indicate deterrence and preparedness toward Russia, but also for the purpose of preventing terrorism. As a partner country, Finland previously had an overview of these plans, but is now participating in the coordinated measures at the national level.
5. Finland sends military personnel to NATO headquarters abroad. Between 100 and 200 officers would be needed. Not everyone starts at the same time, but change happens gradually over several years. The majority of positions are for officers, but NCOs and NCOs will also be required. There will also be NATO services for people with a civilian background.
It is still not clear which regional headquarters Finland will join. Practically speaking, there are two options: Norfolk in the United States, which is responsible for the defense of the Arctic region and whose other Nordic countries include Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, or Brunssum in the Netherlands, which is responsible for the Baltic Sea.
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