Headline RoundupApril 4th, 2023

Finland Officially Joins NATO

Summary from AllSides News Team

Finland formally became NATO’s 31st member on Tuesday, joining the defense alliance after decades of neutrality and prompting warnings of “countermeasures” from Russia. 

Key Quotes: European leaders welcomed Finland’s addition, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that while “President Putin went to war against Ukraine with a declared aim to get less NATO,” he ended up “getting the exact opposite.” U.S. President Joe Biden praised the move, saying NATO was “more united than ever.” Meanwhile, a Kremlin spokesperson called Finland’s addition an “escalation,” adding, “Naturally, this forces us to take countermeasures to ensure our own tactical and strategic security.”

For Context: Finland’s addition doubles the land border between NATO allies and Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine sparked wider regional security concerns. Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO in May 2022, but objections from Turkey and Hungary delayed the process. Turkey finally approved Finland’s membership on March 30, but neither holdout has yet approved Sweden’s application. The U.S. Congress approved both countries’ membership in August in overwhelmingly bipartisan votes.

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was widespread across the spectrum Tuesday morning. Coverage was generally similar in major outlets regardless of bias rating, with headlines focusing on the land border expansion or the “setback” for Russia. 

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