Finland would become a target by joining NATO: Destruction of country

Finland hails 'historic day' as it seeks to join Nato

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Finland remains confident it will achieve its goal of joining NATO despite Turkey’s opposition. The country’s president on Tuesday said he was confident he could convince Turkey to accept its NATO application bid “with the help of constructive discussions”. Sauli Niinisto said: “Statements from Turkey have very quickly changed and become harder during the last few days. “But I am sure that, with the help of constructive discussions, we will solve the situation.”

It comes after Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan threatened to veto Finland and Sweden’s accession to the military alliance.

He said: “We will not say yes to those [countries] that apply sanctions to Turkey to join the security organisation NATO.

“They say they will come to Turkey on Monday. Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother.”

Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO marks a seismic moment in European geopolitics, as both have up until now committed to a neutral stance on such issues, but have been forced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to move towards an alliance membership.

While it is intended to make the nations less vulnerable, it has already led to multiple threats of “military consequences” from the Russian government.

Kremlin spokesperson Dimitry Peskov said Finland joining NATO would “definitely” represent a threat to Russia.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said joining NATO was a “radical change” in Finland’s foreign policy, adding Moscow “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”.

Last month, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, warned there would be “no more talk of a nuclear–free Baltic” if Sweden and Finland join the alliance.

“If our hand is forced, well, take note it wasn’t us who proposed this.”

However, President Putin has since signalled that Russia now accepts the Nordic countries’ NATO bids, saying on Monday that the proposed NATO expansion posed “no direct threat for Russia”, adding he had “no problems” with either Finland or Sweden, however warning that “expanding military infrastructure on to this territory would provoke a response from us…based on the threats they create for us”.

Russian lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov has said Finland joining NATO could lead to “the destruction of their country”.

He added: “If the leadership of Finland goes for it, it will be a strategic mistake.

“Finland, which has been successfully developing all these years thanks to close trade and economic ties with Russia, would become a target.”

One major reason for Finland joining NATO is the Article 5 guarantee for member states.

Article 5 dictates that if a NATO ally is the victim of an armed attack, each and every country within the Alliance will consider this an act of violence against all members, meaning that member states would step in to defend Finland were it attacked.

Finland has its own fraught history with Russia: Finns have taken part in dozens of wars against their eastern neighbour, for centuries as part of the Swedish Kingdom, and as an independent country during the world wars, including two fought against the Soviet Union from 1939-1940 and 1941-1944.

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The country shares an 810 mile border with Russia, with the Ukraine invasion having sparked concerns among Finns that they could be next.

Finnish ambassador to the UK, Jukka Siukosaari , told Express.co.uk in March that some are “frightened” as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.

Asked if there are concerns in the country, he said: “Indeed, we have a very long border with Russia, we have a thousand years of history which has not been without conflict so we do know where we stand.

“At the same time, we know we cannot change Geography, and we have built resilience over decades.

“Our emergency preparedness is very highly ranked, but I think it’s natural Finns are concerned, even frightened, on an individual basis.

“As a Government we do not see a direct military threat to Finland, but we do see an attack on Europe’s security order which does have an effect on us of course.”

While Russia’s President Putin has this week signalled he may now accept Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

However, he warned the Kremlin would respond if the alliance installed military bases or equipment in either country.

The Russian president said on Monday the proposed Nato enlargement posed “no direct threat for Russia”, adding he had “no problems” with either Finland or Sweden.

He then warned that “expanding military infrastructure on to this territory would provoke a response from us…based on the threats they create for us”.

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