Finland on high alert after Putin issues threat

Finland on high alert after Putin issues threat

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned his Finnish counterpart that joining Nato and abandoning Finland’s neutral status would be a “mistake”.

He told Sauli Niinistö there was no threat to Finland’s security.

The exchange came during a phone call made by the Finnish president, ahead of a formal request that Finland is expected to announce very soon.

Finland on high alert

“Such a change in the country’s political orientation can have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish relations developed over years in a spirit of good co-operation between partners.”

Mr Niinistö said he had told Mr Putin how recent moves by Russia, along with the invasion of Ukraine, “have altered the security environment of Finland”.

“The conversation was direct and straight-forward and it was conducted without aggravations. Avoiding tensions was considered important,” he said.

Sweden has also indicated its intention to join the Western alliance, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia threatens military response to Finland joining NATO

Putin issues threat to Finland

Finland shares a 1,300-km (810-mile) border with Russia. Until now, it has stayed out of Nato to avoid antagonising its eastern neighbour.

Mr Putin did not make a specific threat of retaliation over Finland’s move, but the Russian foreign ministry has indicated there will be retaliation.

Russia’s decision to suspend electricity supplies to Finland is being seen as an early sign, however.

The Finns against NATO

The Finnish nation is split between joining NATO, the majority of the country is against joining NATO as they believe there is peace between the two nations and will become a stocking horse for US-led military bases.

The Finns enjoy a high quality of life due to their neutrality in war zones and focus their spending on human resources and the development of the quality of life.

A huge portion of their GDP will now have to be shifted to spend on military arms.