Formation of NATO
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), is an international organization that was formed at Washington D.C on April 4, 1949.
It originally comprised 12 member countries:-
All these countries made a promise to defend each other in case any of them are attacked and to resolve and dispute peacefully. Its headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium.
After the World War II, the Soviet Union helped set up communist governments in many Eastern European countries. The US and the Western European countries feared the further spread of communism. To protect each other against the Soviet Union and the communist countries, NATO was formed.
It is the world’s biggest military alliance with 31 member countries as on date. NATO does not have its own armed forces. Instead it has a military command structure that works with the militaries of member countries in peacekeeping operations.
Official Languages of NATO
NATO has two official languages, English and French, as defined in Article 14 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
Article 5 of the Washington Treaty (NATO’s founding document) provides that “an attack or provocation on one of its member states is considered as an attack against all”. This is known as collective defence and has been used only once in the history of NATO — in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
Defence Spending of its Members
All members of NATO must commit to spending at least 2% of their GDP on defence.
What is Communism?
Communism is a type of government. In a communist system, individual people are not allowed to own land or factories. Everything is owned by the government or the whole community and everyone shares the created wealth.
NATO on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine, a country in Eastern Europe, was a part of the Soviet Union (which broke up into different independent countries including Russia and Ukraine in 1991). Ukraine shares a border and history with Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Ukraine is a part of Russia. He also wants to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. Russia attacked Ukraine on February 25, 2022.
NATO does not support the war between Ukraine and Russia. It believes Ukraine is an independent and peaceful country. Although Ukraine is not a member of NATO, it is a close partner.
New NATO Member: Finland
NATO has announced that Finland has become the 31st member of the alliance, thanks to Turkey’s unanimous vote. Despite Russia’s opposition to Finland’s membership, Turkey’s approval has allowed the extension of NATO. Finland shares a long border of over 1,300km with Russia, and its decision to join NATO was prompted by security concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. However, Sweden’s application to join NATO has been declined by Turkey and Hungary.
Foreign Ministers Meetings & Defense Ministers Meetings give opportunities for NATO Allies to address many of NATO’s most pressing security challenges at some of the highest levels of government. Key strategic issues discussed at these meetings have included Capabilities, Afghanistan, Missile, and Kosovo Defense. Generally attended also by many of NATO’s partners, these meetings are a chance for NATO to strengthen its relationships around the world.
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