Politics explained

What does Finland joining Nato mean for the alliance?

Finland has abandoned its traditional, long-standing policy of non-alignment, and is now the 31st member of Nato. It is a significant moment, and one that brings benefits – but also risks – to Finland and the wider West. Finland brings about 250,000 regular and reserve troops, plus strong artillery and expert capabilities in ultra-cold combat conditions.

Why is Finland joining Nato?

The war in Ukraine shifted Finnish public opinion so markedly towards Nato membership as the best way to sustain Finnish independence that it became inevitable. Its application was eagerly supported by almost every other Nato member, with only some resistance from Hungary and Turkey, who’ve been generally more cautious about expansion and support for Ukraine.


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