Finland's leaders announce support for NATO membership, sparking retaliation threats from Russia

May 13, 2022 12:30 pm

[Source: CNN]

Finland’s president and prime minister announced their support for joining NATO, moving the Nordic nation which shares an 800-mile border with Russia one step closer to membership of the US-led military alliance.

The Kremlin has responded by saying the move would be a threat to Russia and warned of possible retaliation.

The statement of support for NATO from President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin had been expected, after the Finnish government recently submitted a report on national security to the country’s parliament which outlined the path to joining the alliance as one of Finland’s options.

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In the joint statement, Niinisto and Marin say “NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security.”

Later on Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the Finnish statement marked a “radical change in the country’s foreign policy” and warned of countermeasures.

Finland’s possible accession to NATO would cause serious damage to bilateral Russian-Finnish relations, which are essential to maintaining stability and security in the Northern European region.

Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop the threats to its national security that arise in this regard.