Estonian Ambassador to NATO Jüri Luik told ERR that the alliance will gain a strong member in Finland, which is also a strong democracy, and that this will send a very important message to Russia.
"This afternoon, the Finnish flag will be raised next to Estonia's in front of the NATO Headquarters. It is a highly symbolic moment for Estonia, Finland and NATO as the alliance will gain a member which is also a strong democracy, a strong market economy but also in terms of defense," Luik said.
Luik suggested that Finland will add a considerable defense component to NATO in its formidable ground forces.
"Of course, it sends a very important message to Russia as it is the exact opposite of what President Putin was after. Let it serve as a strong signal that everything Putin aimed to achieve through its aggression in Ukraine has utterly failed and just the opposite of what we wanted is unfolding," Luik commented.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that Finland's was the fastest NATO accession process to date. "It is clear that we were operating based on wartime rules so to speak. No one had the time to go through the motions, nor was it necessary in Finland's case as, practically speaking, the country is already integrated with NATO," Luik said.
Finland's NATO welcoming ceremony will be held on April 4, which is also the date on which the alliance was founded.
Editor: Marcus Turovski