THE Finland’s decision to join NATO is a “clear threat” to Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peshkov said today, adding that the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance would not make Europe or the world safer.
Speaking to reporters at a teleconference, Peshkov said Finland’s move to join NATO was sad and threatened in response analogous to the Helsinki movement.
The Finnish leadership announced a few hours ago that the country must apply for NATO membership “without delay”.
Asked if this posed a threat to Russia, Peshkov said: “Certainly. “NATO expansion does not make our continent more stable and secure.”
He added that Finland had taken “unfriendly steps” against Russia.
Asked what form Russia’s response would take, Peshkov said: “Everything will depend on how this NATO enlargement process develops, the degree to which the military structure will move closer to our borders.”
Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Finland had maintained a World War II neutrality policy as for Russia, with which it shares a 1,340 km (830 mile) border.
The country is now likely to join NATO this year, along with its neighbor Swedenanother traditionally neutral force that has avoided joining the US-led alliance