Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership will undoubtedly draw a bigger and bolder line dividing Europe, and more than double the amount of NATO territory bordering Russia.
“Finland’s accession to NATO will cause serious damage to bilateral Russian-Finnish relations,” the Russian Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement. The warning came in response to Finland’s leaders officially endorsing the idea of their country joining NATO.
“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,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Kremlin has not clarified what specific measures it is considering, though officials have previously suggested Moscow would bolster its presence in the Baltic Sea — including with nuclear warheads.
Finland — which shares a 1,340km border with Russia — has long resisted entering NATO and maintained its militarily non-aligned position since the end of WWII.
“Finland’s accession to NATO certainly threatens Russia’s security and will entail Russia elaborating measures to ensure its security,” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said at a press conference.
It was also reported that the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said increasing numbers of weapons sold to Ukraine from the West raise the chance of ‘fully fledged nuclear war’.