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Russia Threatens Retaliation If Finland Joins NATO

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Vladimir Putin

Russia has threatened “retaliatory steps” against Finland after leaders of the Nordic nation said they intended to join NATO “without delay.”

Russia said Finland’s inclusion in NATO would damage relations with Helsinki and could destabilize the region.

“Finland’s accession to NATO will cause serious damage to bilateral Russian-Finnish relations, maintaining stability and security in the Northern European region,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop the threats to its national security that arise in this regard,” it added.

“The expansion of NATO does not make our continent more stable and secure,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists Thursday, The Washington post reported, citing Russian news outlet Interfax.

Peskov said Russia could take measures to “balance the situation” if Finland joins the alliance. “NATO is moving in our direction,” he said.

However, Finland is poised to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The green light from Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin is just a first step in the process of formally applying to join NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — but the conditions appear favorable, as domestic support for membership is high, and NATO leaders have pledged to fast-track Finland’s accession, The Washington Post reports.

Read it in The Washington Post.