Finland to join NATO on Tuesday: Stoltenberg
Updated 21:07, 03-Apr-2023

Finland will become a member of the NATO military alliance on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference on Monday.

The Finnish President's office also said on Monday that the country will officially join the military alliance on Tuesday.

Russia's deputy foreign minister Alexander Grushko said that Moscow would respond to Finland becoming NATO's member by bolstering its defenses if needed.

"We will strengthen our military potential in the west and in the northwest," Grushko said in remarks carried by the state RIA Novosti news agency. "In case of deployment of forces of other NATO members on the territory of Finland, we will take addition steps to ensure Russia's military security."

All 30 allies signed Finland's and Sweden's accession protocols. Turkey and Hungary delayed the process for months but have relented on Finland. Turkey has sought guarantees and assurances from the two, notably on tackling extremism. Hungary's demands have never been explicit. 

NATO must agree unanimously for new members to join.  

(With input from AP)

(Cover: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference, ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, April 3, 2023. /AP))

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