Finland has joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as its 31st member, a historic move ending seven decades of military non-alignment, completing a whirlwind plunge into the alliance, and eliciting new threats from Russia. 

The Nordic country’s NATO accession roughly doubles the length of NATO’s border with Russia and strengthens its eastern flank as the Ukraine war continues to rage on.  

Amidst new threats from the Kremlin poised to take “countermeasures” for “tactical and strategic security,” NATO  and Finland celebrated the historic event.

Welcome to the alliance,” says NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg,  greeting Finland President Sauli Niinisto by his first name at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday. April 4th marks NATO’s 74th year, adding depth to the momentous occasion.