While Finland’s leaders publicly supported the idea to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), Russian authorities said Finland’s accession would threaten its borders which would prompt Russia to develop special measures to ensure its security.
According to Sputnik News, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that the “expansion of Nato and the approach of the alliance’s military infrastructure to our borders does not make the world, and most importantly, our Eurasian continent, more stable and secure”.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement that Finland needed to apply for Nato membership without delay, however, according to the Finnish constitution, a formal decision must be made by the president and cabinet ministerial committee for foreign and security policy during a joint meeting.
“We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days,” says the joint statement, adding that joining Nato would strengthen Finland’s security.
“As a member of Nato, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance.
“The war started by Russia jeopardises the security and stability of the whole of Europe,” it says.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that the deputy chairperson of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said Nato’s support of Ukraine and the conduct of military exercises in countries bordering Russia “increase the likelihood of a direct and open conflict between Nato and Russia”.
“This kind of conflict is always at risk of turning into a full-fledged nuclear war,” Medvedev said.
Furthermore, other Nato members and the capitals of the EU supported the Finnish leaders’ statement and promises to keep Finland’s application process short.