And importantly, they agreed to Article 5, which can obligate member states to come to one another’s defense should one of them be attacked in continental Europe or North America (or in territories north of the Tropic of Cancer).
An additional 16 countries have joined since the alliance’s founding.
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Russian people were interested in yoga even before the revolution of 1917.But Lord Hastings Ismay, the alliance’s first secretary general and a friend of Winston Churchill, is said to have remarked that the alliance really had three purposes: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”The treaty had evolved out of an initiative of the so-called Benelux countries (the vertical stripe of Europe comprising Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), who were worried above all about keeping Germany down after World War II.In signing on, the 12 original members who joined in 1949 agreed to uphold peace and international law among themselves.In the Soviet era it was not safe to practice yoga because it was ideologically forbidden, but nevertheless there were enthusiasts who learned and mastered yogic techniques with the help of few remaining books and samizdat (underground press) copies.Boris Leonidovich Smirnov (1891 — 1967) was a well-known doctor and an expert in foreign languages. After giving a lecture on thought transfer in Kiev in 1930 he was exiled for a few years to Yoshkar Ola.