Russia vows to take "countermeasures" after Finland joins NATO

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A risk of increased military tension, an attack on our interests. In these and other ways, all negative from her point of view, Russia has qualified the integration of its neighbor Finland into NATO. In response, the Kremlin warns that it will take "countermeasures" and strengthen its military capacity in its western and northwestern regions.

Before sending his army to Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded less presence of the Atlantic Alliance near Russia's borders. After Finland's entry into NATO, a consequence of the Russian intervention in Ukraine, Moscow has achieved the opposite: more NATO in the vicinity of its territory.

The Alliance closer

Russia will have 1,300 more kilometers of borders with NATO members

With the arrival of the Nordic country, Russia adds 1,300 kilometers of border with members of the Atlantic Alliance, almost double the number that existed.

The Kremlin spokesman, Dimitri Peskov, assured this Tuesday that with the expansion of NATO there is "another aggravation of the situation" and that it is "an attack on our security and on Russia's national interests."

"That's how we perceive it," he said. "And this forces us to take countermeasures to ensure security, both tactically and strategically," Peskov said.

The answer

Moscow has said it will strengthen its military capacity in its western and northwestern regions.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said for his part that the step taken by Finland, which becomes NATO's 31st member, "creates risks of a significant expansion of the conflict" in Ukraine.

During a meeting of the Russian military leadership, Shoigu assured that this, however, will not affect the development of what in Russia is called a "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Peskov explained that the situation with Finland is "fundamentally" different from the situation with Ukraine, because the Scandinavian country has never become "anti-Russian" and there have never been any disputes with it.

Moscow Notice

Kremlin says Finnish step aggravates military situation in region

But he added that the entry can "affect the character of bilateral relations" with Finland or other states that join NATO. In May of last year, together with Finland, Sweden also applied to join the Alliance, but its access is currently paralyzed by the opposition of Turkey.

Before requesting access, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto called Putin. During the phone conversation, Putin told him that Finland was making a mistake in abandoning its policy of neutrality.

"The Alliance remains a hostile structure, and in many ways hostile to the Russian Federation," Peskov said on Tuesday.


"NATO remains a hostile structure" towards Russia, says Peskov

Russia maintains that one of the reasons it sent its armed forces to Ukraine was to counter a threat from what it says were Western plans to use Ukraine as a platform to threaten Russia.

Moscow says it is currently facing a "hybrid war" against NATO and the West, which supports Ukraine with arms shipments and financially.

Peskov did not specify what "countermeasures" he was referring to. But a day earlier Alexander Grushko, Russia's deputy foreign minister, said Russia would in response strengthen its military capacity in its western and northwestern regions near the Baltic, including its Kaliningrad exclave.

"In the event that the forces and resources of other NATO members are deployed in Finland, we will take further measures to reliably guarantee Russia's military security," Grushkó explained to the Ría Nóvosti agency.

This position is not new and was already announced last May by Vladimir Putin. The answer "we will decide based on the threats that NATO creates for us," said the Russian president at the time.

For his part, Defense Minister Shoigu said last year that Russia was taking "appropriate countermeasures" and would form 12 military units and divisions in its western military district.

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