“Finnish armed forces would become part of NATO’s military infrastructure, which overnight would be at the borders of the Russian Federation”“Do you think we will keep it as it is: our troops at 1,500 kilometres away?”“NATO perhaps would gladly fight with Russia until the last Finnish soldier.”“Do you guys need it? We don’t. We don’t want it. But it is your call.”
Monday, 4 July 2016
Putin in Helsinki: 'NATO Would Gladly Fight Russia Until the Last Finn'
Originally appeared at Antiwar.com
Following a meeting with his Finnish counterpart, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement warning Finland against joining NATO, warning that such a move would mean the end of Russia keeping its troops 1,500 km from their mutual border.
Putin cautioned that in joining Finland would overnight put NATO at the borders of the Russian Federation, adding that “NATO would gladly fight with Russia until the last Finnish soldier,” but that neither Finland nor Russia would benefit from such a thing.
A Finnish government report from back in April was also cautious about the idea of joining NATO, warning it would lead to a “crisis” with Russia, potentially a really economically harmful one for the Finns, who trade heavily with Russia.
Polls have shown Finnish voters overwhelmingly opposed to seeking NATO membership, though several officials have talked up such an idea, particularly as a “joint membership” effort with Sweden.
NATO clearly would be keen to add Finland to the alliance, giving them a much longer border with Russia upon which to build up militarily. The existing border to Russia is in the tiny Baltic states, and they’re getting increasingly full of NATO ground troops.
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