Russia warned Finland that it would “be forced” to retaliate if the long-neutral country joined the Western military alliance, NATO, imminently, amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry disclosed this in a statement Thursday.
The statement read, “Finland joining NATO is a radical change in the country’s foreign policy.
“Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop threats to its national security arising.”
The statement comes immediately after Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the country should apply to join NATO “without delay.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has shifted countries like Finland and Sweden’s calculus on NATO membership, with Finland also seriously considering lodging an application to join the alliance.