Moscow announced that it would be forced to take retaliatory initiatives over Finland’s membership in NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Finland is the neighboring country of Russia, and it shares a thirteen-hundred-kilometer border with Russia. Russia’s foreign ministry stated that the Finland move would seriously damage northern Europe’s bilateral relations, stability, and security.
Moscow warned that Russia would respond to neighboring Finland’s joining NATO with military-technical retaliatory action. Foreign Ministry said that the response would severely harm bilateral relations and peace, security, & stability in the Northern European region.#FinlandNATO pic.twitter.com/t4Q4ZLJh9B
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) May 13, 2022
Previously, Finland’s Prime Minister and President called for the country to apply for NATO membership without delay. It comes amid increased public support for NATO membership following the Russian attack on Ukraine. Finland will officially announce its decision on Sunday after senior political figures and parliament consider it. On the other hand, Sweden said that it would also announce a similar decision on the same day.
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO, said he expects the process of giving Finland and Sweden membership to happen quite instantly. Furthermore, the White House said that the United States would back a NATO application from both nations if they apply. The statement from Russian officials described the move of Finland as a radical change in the foreign policy of the country.
The statement further added that Moscow would be forced to take punitive moves, both military-technical and normal types, to neutralize the threats to its state security. But Russia didn’t specify what steps it plans to take. However, Dmitry Polyansky, the deputy United Nations representative of Russia, said Finland and Sweden would likely become targets for Moscow if they became NATO members.
NATO Membership Would Strengthen Finland’s Security
Russian government officials responded to the joint statement of Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and President Sauli Niinisto, which stated that the two leaders are likely to expect a decision on NATO membership in the next few days. It added that NATO membership would bolster the security of Finland, and as a member of the alliance, the country would strengthen its overall defense alliance. Therefore, it concluded that Finland must apply for NATO Membership without delay.
Last week, an opinion poll put support in Finland for attaining membership of NATO at seventy-six percent, with twelve percent against it. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Finland were on opposing sides in World War II, with the Finns famously opposing a Soviet invasion from 1939 to 1940. However, Finland lost ten percent of its territory in the final peace pact and remained non-aligned during the Cold War.