Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Finland’s entry into NATO this year will create “problems” where there are “none”. In response, he announced a military reinforcement near his border in the northwest.
“There was no problem there, but there will be now, because we are going to create the Leningrad Military District and concentrate a certain number of units there,” he told a journalist on public television broadcast on Sunday. The West “dragged Finland into NATO”.
Relations between the two neighbors, which share a 1,340-kilometer border, have deteriorated significantly since February 2022 and a Russian offensive in Ukraine led Finland, worried about its security, to join NATO in April 2023.
Finland on Thursday announced the closure of its entire border with Russia, hours after reopening two border crossings that Moscow accused of plotting a migration crisis.
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Finland’s Interior Minister Mari Randanen said the decision will be effective from 8:00 p.m. on Friday until January 14.
Helsinki condemned a “hybrid attack” aimed at destabilizing Finland and accused Moscow of deliberately allowing these migrants to pass through. Allegations denied by the Kremlin.
Not interested in attacking NATO
Vladimir Putin added that Russia has no reason to go to war with NATO countries, while US President Joe Biden raised the possibility of a Russian attack against a NATO member state in early December.
According to the Russian president, “this is rhetoric that justifies a wrong policy towards Russia.”
Vladimir Putin assured that Moscow is “not interested in going to war with NATO countries – on geopolitical, economic or military grounds”.
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