despite successive Russian statements Over the past weeks, curious to expand NATO In northern Europe, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö announced that he had discussed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin the country’s soon-to-be bid to join NATO.
Niinisto said in a statement, today, Saturday, that the conversation was frank and direct and did not witness any tension.
He also stressed that avoiding tension is important, adding that the contact was made at the initiative of his country, according to what was reported by AFP.
Reply from Putin
As for Putin, he assured his Finnish counterpart that “abandoning the policy of military neutrality would be wrong,” stressing that there are no risks to Finland’s security.
He also warned that this change in Helsinki’s foreign approach “may negatively affect the previously built mutually beneficial relations between the two countries,” according to a statement issued by the Russian presidency.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)
Western encouragement and Russian warning
The developments of this file have accelerated in the past few days, amid welcome andEuropean and American encouragement Her, in exchange for strong-worded Russian warnings.
Moscow has repeatedly stressed that Helsinki’s taking such a step might negatively affect its interests and international relations.
She also stressed that if this accession took place, it would not go unnoticed, but would call for an appropriate technical and military response.
At the gates of Russia
It is noteworthy that such a Finnish step, if it takes place, will make the defensive military alliance, which Russia considers the spearhead in the international campaign launched against it since the start of its military operation in Ukraine, directly at the gates of its land borders.
Finland’s membership will double the length of NATO’s land border with Russia to about 2,600 km, which may raise questions about Moscow’s response.
Finland map (iStock)
Such a decision would also be considered a major shift in the policy of the Scandinavian country, which for decades has opted for non-alignment and neutrality.
However, the Russian military operation that began on February 24 on Ukrainian soil exacerbated the fears of Helsinki and Stockholm alike, although the latter is still reluctant to take such a decision.
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