What did the Kremlin and the western bloc say to Finland’s latest NATO step?

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What did the Kremlin and the western bloc say to Finland's latest NATO step?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Finland would be welcomed if it applied for membership in NATO and that the membership process would be fast. Moscow has announced that if Finland joins NATO, it will have to take retaliatory steps, both military and otherwise, to stop threats to Russia’s national security.

What did the Kremlin and the western bloc say to Finland's latest NATO step?

Stoltenberg commented on the joint statement of Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin declaring that “NATO membership should be applied for without delay.”

Noting that he welcomed the joint statement, Stoltenberg stressed that it was Finland’s sovereign decision and that NATO respected the decision. Stoltenberg said:

“If Finland decides to apply for membership, it will be welcomed in NATO, and the accession process will be smooth and fast. Finland is one of NATO’s closest partners, a mature democracy, a member of the EU and an important contributor to Euro-Atlantic security. I agree with President Niinistö and Prime Minister Marin that NATO membership will strengthen the security of both Finland and NATO. Membership will show that NATO’s doors are open and that Finland decides its own future.”

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Sweden is also expected to announce its decision to join NATO in the coming days.

NATO welcomes the membership of both countries and the accession process is expected to be fast.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has previously said that if the two countries apply, arrangements needed to ensure the security of Finland and Sweden could be made “in the period leading up to the completion of official membership”.

Russia: We will take military steps if Finland joins NATO
On the other hand, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that if Finland joined NATO, Russia would have to take retaliatory steps, both military and otherwise, to stop the threats to its national security.

In a written statement, the ministry described Finland’s decision to apply to join NATO as a “fundamental change” in that country’s foreign policy.

Stating that Finland’s military non-alignment policy for decades has served stability in the Northern European region and ensured Finland’s security, the statement pointed out that the reduction of the role of the military factor to zero is the basis of cooperation and partnership between Russia and Finland.

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The statement noted that Russia’s assurance that it has no hostile intentions towards Finland convinced Helsinki of the advantages of continuing its policy of military non-alignment, adding, “The aim of NATO, which strongly convinced the Finnish side that there is no alternative to being a member of the alliance, is clear: to continue expanding towards the borders of Russia, to create another wing for a military threat to our country.”

‘Helsinki should be aware of the responsibility and consequences of such a move’
Pointing out that Finland will turn its territory into a conflict zone with Russia, the statement made the following evaluations:

“Helsinki should be aware of the responsibility and consequences of such a move. Finland’s accession to NATO will seriously damage Russia-Finland bilateral relations, while maintaining stability and security in the Northern European region. Russia will have to take retaliatory steps, both military-technical and otherwise, to stop the threats to its national security that arise in this context.”

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Finland’s accession to NATO would be a direct violation of its international legal obligations, in particular the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, which provided for the parties’ obligation not to enter into alliances or participate in coalitions for one of them, the statement said.

FİKRİKADİM

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