Finnish President Sauli Niinistö called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin today to explain Helsinki’s plans to join NATO, Interfax reports citing Bloomberg.
The call and clarification came after Russia said that Finland’s accession to NATO was a threat to which it would respond, without specifying how.
The Kremlin has warned of possible NATO deployment of nuclear weapons in Finland and Sweden once both countries eventually formally join the Atlantic alliance.
“Many questions arise about the refusal of these countries from their nuclear status,” Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Alexander Grushko told reporters.
He stressed that the expansion of the allies also raises doubts about the “negative nuclear guarantees” for both Scandinavian countries, which hope to join the Western bloc at the June allied summit in Madrid.
“Just look at the map to understand how important the expansion of allies is for the security interests of the Russian Federation,” he stressed.
He acknowledged that for the moment the Atlantic Alliance has not changed its nuclear policy, but its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that “nuclear weapons can be placed closer to the Russian border, and Polish leaders have assured that they are ready to receive them.”
“If these statements are confirmed in practice, of course, it will be necessary to respond with the adoption of preventive measures that guarantee reliable reassurance,” the diplomat warned.
Moscow would react not only to the deployment of American nuclear weapons, but also to the creation of the necessary infrastructure for their use.
“The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is a strategic change. This change cannot take place without a political reaction, as well as without a thorough analysis of the consequences of the new configuration of forces that may emerge as a result of a new enlargement of the union,” he said.
Of course, he insisted that “all the factors affecting security in the region” be analyzed, and specified that the relevant decisions would not be made in a hurry.
Despite the current Russian military intervention in Ukraine, he considered it “impossible” to suspect hostile intentions on the part of Russia against Finland and Sweden, accusations that he linked to attempts to “demonize” Russia from a political and military point of view.
“We can imagine how events will develop. When the accession is formalized, the NATO countries will immediately announce that the northern flank is very vulnerable, that the border with Russia has been extended by 1,300 kilometers, and that this border must be protected, it must be deployed there with an additional contingent,” he said.
“Military-technical” measures and blackouts
In addition, he was convinced that Finland’s entry would not enhance the military security of NATO or a neighboring country that has always maintained a privileged relationship with the Kremlin since Soviet times.
“For any sane person, it is quite obvious that the result will be exactly the opposite, the military security of Finland will be significantly weakened,” he said.
He also did not rule out the “militarization” of the Arctic – Norway has been a member of NATO since its founding in 1949 – when Moscow advocates the idea that the military component in the region should be “minimal”.
As soon as Helsinki announced its plans to join NATO soon, Moscow warned that it would take “military-technical” measures, as this decision threatened the security of Europe, opening up a new allied flank in the north of the continent.
On Friday, Moscow announced that it was cutting off electricity supplies to the neighboring country as of today, ostensibly due to problems with non-payment.
Finland’s entry will double the Russian Federation’s border with the Atlantic Alliance, since Russia shares a 1,300-kilometer border with the Scandinavian country.
Russia now shares borders with the following members of the western bloc: Poland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, in addition to a 49-kilometer maritime border with the United States.
*The article has been translated based on the content of www.lavanguardia.com. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!