Finnish envoy to NATO says there is no ‘irregular activity’ by Russia against his country
Finland, which is preparing a formal application to join NATO, does not see any “direct military threats” of Russia at this time, said the Nordic nation’s ambassador to the US-led military alliance.
Helsinki only expects potential “cyber bullying” o “disinformation campaigns” from Moscow, Klaus Korhonen told CNN on Thursday.
However, the envoy stated that Russia has targeted Finland with such activities in the past and that they are “nothing new.”
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin issued a joint statement Thursday saying the country “must apply for NATO membership without delay.” The leaders said they will formally announce a decision on Sunday and send it to the Finnish parliament for approval.
Korhonen explained that although Finland stayed out of NATO during the Cold War, it was forced to reconsider its position due to a “very drastic change in our security environment” after the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Finland, which shares a 1,340 km (833 mile) land border with Russia, already has “strong national defense” and joining the alliance would make the protection of the country “even more effective”, he said.
“We have a strong defense, we have a very capable border guard, and I think right now we’re awake, so I think the border is very secure.” the envoy added.
Speaking on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Finland’s membership in NATO “absolutely” be a threat to Russia, and that further expansion of the US-led alliance. “It’s not making our continent more stable and secure.”
Russia is already working on measures to “strengthening our western flanks in relation to strengthening NATO’s eastern flanks”, Peskov added.
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