The New York TimesThe New York Times

Finland joins NATO in a power shift and rebuke to Putin

By Steven Erlanger

05 Apr 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

The NYT reports on the historic day when Finland officially joined NATO, doubling the alliance's borders with Russia. As the West shores up its allegiances, the global dynamics have shifted.

BRUSSELS — With a simple exchange of documents, Finland on Tuesday became NATO’s 31st member state, a strategic defeat for President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who was determined to block the alliance’s expansion but instead galvanized Finland to join amid Moscow’s devastating war in Ukraine.

Later in the day, Finland’s national flag was raised at NATO headquarters, a deeply symbolic moment and a stark display of the shifting global dynamics, as the West shores up its allegiances in response to Russia’s aggression toward its neighbor. With Finland’s membership assured, NATO doubled its borders with Russia and gained access to a strong military with a deep history of countering Russia.

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