NATO confirmed that Finland will be part of the alliance from this Tuesday

NATO Finland

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Finland will become the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Tuesday, and its flag will be raised at that bloc’s headquarters in Brussels, the head of the military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said Monday.

“Tomorrow [Tuesday] we will welcome Finland as the 31st member,” Stoltenberg told a news conference on the eve of a ministerial meeting marking the Nordic country’s accession to the transatlantic alliance.

Finland’s accession process, noted the Norwegian official, has been “the fastest in modern NATO history.”

The move to be completed on Tuesday “will make Finland safer and NATO stronger.”

On Tuesday, Finland’s representative is scheduled to formally hand over the accession papers to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, whose office is guardian of the military alliance’s founding treaty.

Last year, in the context of Russia’s invasion of UkraineNATO formally invited Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance, but the Swedish candidacy is vetoed by Turkey, although the position is hotly disputed. talks.

This Monday, the enormous platform where the flags of the 30 member countries of the alliance are raised already exhibited the mast that Finland should receive at the ceremony on Tuesday.

In his press conference, Stoltenberg assured that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine “with the clear objective of having less NATO. But he will receive the exact opposite in return.

Release of Evan Gershkovich

Stoltenberg also called on Russia to immediately release US journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested a week ago on espionage charges.

Gershkovich’s arrest “is a matter of great concern. It is important to respect the freedom of the press, the rights of journalists, the right to ask questions and do their job. We therefore call for his immediate release,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg said he expected the journalist’s detention to be discussed at the foreign ministers’ meeting on Tuesday.

“I join the United States in calling for Russia to release the journalist,” Stoltenberg said.

It is necessary “to ensure that their rights to work as a journalist are respected,” he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday that Gershkovich – a journalist for the Wall Street Journal – had tried to “receive secret information” when he was arrested.

US President Joe Biden on Friday demanded that Russia release Gershkovich, but did not mention the newspaper’s calls to expel Russian journalists from the United States.