Putin called Finland’s rejection of neutrality and joining NATO a mistake

PAccording to the Russian leader, Finland’s accession to NATO may negatively affect Russian-Finnish relations, which for many years have been built on good neighborliness and partnership

Putin called Finland's rejection of neutrality and joining NATO a mistake

Vladimir Putin

Finland’s rejection of the traditional policy of neutrality and the country’s accession to NATO was a mistake, since there are no threats to Helsinki’s security, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto. This is reported on the Kremlin’s website.

“Such a change in the country’s foreign policy course may negatively affect Russian-Finnish relations, which for many years have been built in the spirit of good neighborliness,” the message says.

Niinisto told Putin that Finland will soon make a decision on applying for NATO membership. The office of the Finnish president explained this decision by the desire to strengthen the country’s security.

During the telephone conversation, Putin and Niinisto also discussed the situation in Ukraine. The Russian president gave an assessment of the negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations, “actually suspended by Kiev”.

On May 12, Niinisto and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced the need to immediately apply to NATO. The country’s Foreign Ministry explained this by saying that “the military actions initiated by Russia have created a danger to the stability of the whole of Europe.” Sweden can also apply as early as May 16, Expressen wrote.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States would support Finland and Sweden joining NATO. Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg promised to promptly receive both countries in case of a request from them.

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However, Turkish President Recep Erdogan said that he did not consider the possibility of countries joining the alliance to be positive. According to him, the Scandinavian countries are “a guest house for terrorist organizations”. He recalled that members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party banned in the country live in Sweden and are even represented in parliament.

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic also considered the applications of Sweden and Finland to join NATO a “dangerous adventure”. In his opinion, these countries cannot join the bloc until the law on elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina is changed in the interests of Bosnian Croats.

The Kremlin regards Helsinki’s desire to become a member of NATO as a threat. The press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow’s actions will depend on what the expansion process will be expressed in and how the military infrastructure of the alliance will move.

The day before, Putin discussed at a meeting with the country’s Security Council possible threats from the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO.

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