In the case of Finland’s accession to NATO the situation will change, said the President of Russia Vladimir Putin at a press conference with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö. “Imagine that Finland will join NATO. This means that Finnish troops will not be sovereign. They will become part of the military infrastructure of NATO, which will be on the borders of the Russian Federation. Do you think we will continue to act? Fifteen hundred troops withdrew and just leave it?” — said Putin, reports RBC.
According to Putin, Russia values the neutral status of Finland, but will respect any choice made by the Finnish people.
“To paraphrase one of my Finnish friends could say that NATO is probably happy to be at war with Russia until the last Finnish soldier. You need it? We do not. We don’t want. But you decide what you need,” — said Putin.
At the beginning of June in Finland, which is not part of NATO, held a three-day exercises of the North Atlantic Alliance Baltops, which involved 6,1 thousand soldiers from 17 countries, 49 ships, 60 aircraft and three submarines.
The President of Finland Sauli Niinistö 17 Jun said in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that the country can not give up the opportunity to apply for NATO membership because it is an instrument of security policy”. However, he stressed that the question of Finland’s accession to the Alliance should be put to a national referendum.