Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Finland to join NATO would be a mistake. Foto/21stcenturychronicle.com
Even so, Putin told Finnish President Sauli Niinisto that there was no threat to Finland’s security.
After a phone call between Niinisto and Putin on Saturday, the Kremlin said the Russian leader had stressed ending the traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake because there was no threat to Finland’s security.
“Such a change in the political orientation of the country can have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish relations developed over many years in the spirit of good neighborliness and cooperation between partners,” Putin said.
For his part, Niinisto said he had told Putin how Russia’s recent moves, along with the invasion of Ukraine, had changed Finland’s security environment.
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“The conversation was direct and straightforward and carried out without irritation. Avoiding tension was considered important,” he said.
The remarks came during a phone call made by the Finnish president, ahead of the formal NATO application that Finland is expected to announce on Sunday.
Sweden has also indicated its intention to join the Western alliance, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.