Finland and Sweden ignored Russian warnings that their possible entry into NATO would have “serious military and political consequences” for Moscow.
A statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday voiced Moscow’s concern over the efforts of the United States and some of its allies to “pull” Finland and Sweden into NATO, and warned that Moscow may have to take retaliatory measures if the two countries join. alliance.
“We’ve heard that before,” Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said on Saturday.
In an interview with Finnish state radio, Haavisto said, “We do not think that this entails a military threat. If Finland is NATO’s external border, Russia will certainly take this into account in its defense planning. I do not see anything new from this,” said Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Finland has a 1,340 km land border with Russia, which is the longest border shared between any EU member state and Russia.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto confirmed Haavisto’s statements by saying that “the statement does not mean that Moscow is threatening Finland militarily, but is a kind of counter-step that Russia would take if Finland joined NATO”.
In Sweden, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said of Moscow’s statement at a joint press conference with Swedish military commander Mikael Biden on Friday: “I want to be very clear… Sweden is the one who decides the line on its own and independently. It is a requirement of security policy. “
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