The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has warned his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinistö, that the renunciation of neutrality by the Nordic country to join NATO it would be a “wrong” decision. “Putin stressed that giving up the traditional policy of military neutrality would be wrong, since there is no threat to the security of Finland“, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The Kremlin stressed that such a change in Helsinki’s foreign policy “may negatively influence Russian-Finnish relationswhich for many years were characterized by a spirit of good neighborliness and cooperation between partners, and had a mutually beneficial aspect”.
Before launching the “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, Putin had sued NATO end its enlargement to Eastern Europe and withdraw the military infrastructure of the countries that joined the bloc after 1997.
The Kremlin stressed today that the conversation had been “frank” and had focused on Finland’s plans to apply for NATO membership, an accession that could be formalized at the allied summit in June in Madrid, and on the situation in Ukraine.
“In particular, Putin shared his vision of the negotiating process between the Russian and Ukrainian delegationswhich has been practically frozen by kyiv, which shows no interest in a serious and constructive dialogue”, says the official note. Not expected, Finland’s decision to join the Atlantic Alliance has ceased to sit like a jug of cold water Russia, which has already threatened Helsinki with “military-technical” measures.
In turn, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexandr Grushkó, warned on Saturday on the possible deployment by NATO of nuclear weapons in Finland and Sweden, once both countries formally join NATO. “It is enough to look at the map to understand how important the Allied enlargement is for the security interests of the Russian Federation,” he stressed.
He admitted that, for the moment, the Atlantic Alliance has not changed its nuclear policy, but its secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has stated that “nuclear weapons can be emplaced closer to the Russian border and the Polish leaders assured that they are ready to receive them”.
“If these declarations are confirmed in practice, of course, it will be necessary to react with the adoption of preventive measures that guarantee a safe dissuasion,” warned the diplomat. Despite the current Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Grushko considered “impossible” to suspect hostile intentions by Russia against Finland and Sweden, accusations that he related to attempts to “demonize” Russia from the political and military point of view.
Moscow, which accuses Helsinki of threatening the security of Europe by opening a new allied flank in the north of the continent, the electricity supply was cut off today to the neighboring country supposedly due to non-payment problems.
The Finnish entry would double the border of the Russian Federation with the Atlantic Alliance, since Russia shares 1,300 kilometers of border with the Scandinavian country. Russia now borders the following members of the Western bloc: Poland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, in addition to 49 kilometers of maritime border with the United States.