‘We will be forced to take retaliatory measures,’ says Russia if Finland joins NATO.

Russia has threatened Finland with retaliation if the Nordic country joins NATO, the transatlantic military alliance.

On Thursday, May 12, Finland’s president and prime minister, Sauli Niinisto, expressed his country’s support for joining NATO, bringing Finland one step closer to joining the US-led military alliance.
Finland shares an 800-mile border with Russia, and one of Russia’s justifications for invading Ukraine was to prevent Ukraine, a close Russian ally, from joining NATO.

Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Marin said in a joint statement: “Finland’s security would be enhanced if it joined NATO. Finland’s membership in NATO would boost the whole defense alliance. Finland should apply for NATO membership as soon as possible. We expect that the remaining national actions required to make this decision will be taken quickly in the coming days.”

The Kremlin retaliated by declaring the measure a danger to Russia and threatening reprisal.

The Finnish declaration constituted a “dramatic change in the country’s foreign policy,” according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which warned of countermeasures.

“Helsinki must understand the implications and ramifications of such a move,”

According to the ministry, Finland’s probable NATO membership would wreak havoc on bilateral Russian-Finnish relations, which are crucial to Northern European stability and security.

“Russia will be forced to take retaliatory measures, both military-technical and other,” it said.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, also stated that Finland joining NATO would not increase security.

“As we have repeatedly stated, NATO expansion does not make the world more stable or secure,” Peskov told reporters. He went on to say that Russia’s response would be determined by NATO activity near its borders.

“It depends on what this growth process entails, how far and close the military infrastructure moves to our borders,” Peskov said.

“Everyone wants to avoid a direct clash between Russia and NATO: both Russia and NATO, and, most crucially, Washington,” Peskov said on a daily conference call with reporters. He did say, though, that those who try to get engaged in Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine will be met with “the most decisive punishment.”

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