Finland Becomes An Official Member Of NATO
Finland has become the 31st member of the Nato security alliance, and its flag will soon be raised at the alliance’s headquarters.
Fidel Info reports that The Finnish foreign minister signed the accession document, and handed it to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Finland’s accession is a setback for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who repeatedly complained of Nato’s expansion before his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The length of Russia’s border with Nato member states has now doubled.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that Russia would be “watching closely” what happens in Finland, describing Nato’s enlargement as a “violation of our security and our national interests”.
Finland shares a 1,340-km (832-mile) eastern frontier with Russia and formally applied to join Nato with Sweden last May because of Russia’s war.
They had previously both adopted a policy of non-alignment. But after the Ukraine invasion, they chose the protection of Nato’s Article Five, which says an attack on one member is an attack on all.
In effect, it means if Finland were invaded or attacked, all Nato members – including the US – would come to its aid.
Russia’s invasion prompted a surge in Finnish public opinion towards joining Nato to 80% in favour.
“This will make Finland safer and Nato stronger,” Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Tuesday.
“President Putin had a declared goal of the invasion of Nato to get less Nato along its borders and no more membership in Europe, he’s getting exactly the opposite.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “tempted to say this is maybe the one thing we can thank Mr Putin for”.
“Because he once again here has precipitated something he claims to want to prevent by Russia’s aggression,” he said.
Sweden’s application has for now become stuck, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing Stockholm of embracing Kurdish militants and allowing them to demonstrate on the streets.
Hungary is also yet to approve Sweden joining.
Mr Stoltenberg said Nato would ensure Sweden would become the next member to join.
Helsinki’s journey to accession has lasted less than a year, and Tuesday’s ceremony coincides with the 74th anniversary of Nato’s founding in 1949.
It will formally join when Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto hands over accession papers to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“Finland’s a terrific ally, very capable, shares our values and we expect a seamless transition into its proper seat at the table,” US ambassador to Nato Julianne Smith told the BBC.
She said she hoped Sweden would also join at the next Nato summit in Lithuania in July.
The Kremlin said that Russia was being forced to take counter-measures to ensure its own security, tactically and strategically, but pointed out it had never had disagreements with Helsinki in the way that Ukraine had become “anti-Russian”.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that Russia’s short-range Iskander-M ballistic missile system had been handed over to Belarus and was capable of carrying nuclear as well as conventional weapons. Some Belarusian fighter jets were also capable of carrying nuclear weapons, he said.
Jens Stoltenberg said Nato had not yet seen any changes to Russia’s nuclear posture that would require any change by the alliance. He added there would be no Nato troops stationed in Finland without the consent of the government in Helsinki.
Nato will now have seven members on the Baltic Sea, further isolating Russia’s coastal access to St Petersburg and its small exclave of Kaliningrad.
Dmitry Peskov told the BBC that Russia would be watching closely how Nato used Finnish territory “in terms of basing weapons systems and infrastructure there which will be right up close to our borders, potentially threatening us”.
“Based on that, measures will be taken,” the Kremlin spokesman said.
KWASU lecturer wins $24,000 international scholarship grant
Rashidat Akande, PhD, a faculty member in the Department of Economics and Development Studies at Kwara State University, has secured a $24,000 CAD International Scholarship Grant.
This prestigious grant is awarded as part of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship – Advanced Scholars – West Africa (QES-AS-WA) scheme.
The announcement of the Akande’s achievement was made by Saeedat Aliyu, the Director of Relations at the university.
The statement highlighted that Akande emerged as the recipient of the QES-AS-WA scholarship award for the year 2022.
The theme for this year’s award was “Wurin ta na yin rubutu – Her own room to write.”
The statement further revealed that Akande’s participation in the program will span two months.
The primary objective of the program is to provide support to women who are pursuing a PhD. or are in the early stages of their research careers.
The aim is to enable these scholars to expand the horizons of their research and create long-lasting impacts in both Nigeria and Canada.
“This accomplishment reflects Rashidat Akande’s dedication to her field and her commitment to making meaningful contributions to the academic community,” the statement read.
It added, “Her success serves as an inspiration for aspiring scholars and researchers alike.”
Just in:Buhari renames Airports after Prominent Nigerian
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the renaming of 15 airports after some prominent Nigerians.
The approval, according to a statement from the Ministry of Aviation signed by the Head of Press and Public Affairs, Odutayo Oluseyi, was given on Friday.
….The airports include Akure International Airport named after Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu; Benin International Airport now known as Oba Akinzua ii; Dutse International Airport renamed Muhammed Nuhu Sanusi; Ebonyi International Airport Okadigbo now known as Chuba Wilberforce; and Gombe International Airport renamed Brigadier Zakari Maimalari.
,,,,,They also include Ibadan International Airport (Samuel Ladoke Akintola); Ilorin International Airport (General Tunde Abdullahi Idiagbon); Kaduna International Airport (Gen. Hassan Usman Katsina); and Maiduguri International Airport (President Muhammadu Buhari).
,,,,Others are Makurdi International Airport renamed after Joseph Sarwuan Tarka; Minna International Airport renamed Mall. Abubakar Imam; Nasarrawa International Airport named after Sheikh Usman Danfodio; Osubi International Airport renamed Alfred Diete Spiff; Port Harcourt International Airport renamed Obafemi Jeremiah Awolowo and Yola International Airport now known as Lamido Aliyu Mustapha
Hajj 2023: AbdulRazaq accompanies Kwara pilgrims to Ilorin Airport, bids farewell
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has on Friday night accompanied Kwara pilgrims to the Ilorin International Airport to bid them farewell.
The pilgrims are the first batch to be airlifted from the state to Saudi Arabia for Hajj 2023.
It has been a routine for the Governor to pay courtesy visit to intending pilgrims at their camp and later accompany them to the airport as a way of identifying with them.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) commenced the airlift of pilgrims on Thursday with an inaugural flight that comprised pilgrims from Nasarawa State.
Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam which holds yearly with a large number of Muslims from around the world gathering in Saudi Arabia to perform the rite.
During his visit, Governor AbdulRazaq exchanged pleasantries with the pilgrims who took turns to commend his humility.
They also prayed for his success during his second term in office, while the Governor wished them a safe landing at their destination.
AbdulRazaq who won re-election into office would be inaugurated for his second term on Monday.
He has also emerged as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), with his colleagues reposing confidence in him to provide leadership for the forum.
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