NewsFinland faces consequences for NATO ties: Russia's grim warning in the shadow of escalating conflict

Finland faces consequences for NATO ties: Russia's grim warning in the shadow of escalating conflict

Mikhail Ulyanov warns Finland
Mikhail Ulyanov warns Finland
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11:45 AM EST, December 28, 2023

Mikhail Ulyanov expressed criticism towards Helsinki's foreign policy, which led to the country's joining of NATO in April 2023 among other things. The Russian diplomat warned that Finland's closer ties with the West could come with consequences. He maintained that Moscow has enjoyed good relations with Helsinki for many years.

"I simply cannot comprehend what benefits Finland derives from this. They've lived peaceably, quietly, and now find themselves between Russia and NATO, being integrated as an integral part of the alliance. They are our neighbors and, God forbid should there be any deterioration in relations, Finland will be the first to suffer", Ulyanov stated, as quoted by "Belsat".

He was quick to point out that he does not wish for such an eventuality. Still, he pointed to Russia's prompt reactivation of the Leningrad and Moscow Military Districts following Finland's joining of NATO as a form of retaliatory action. He also remarked that Russia sees Finland's defense cooperation with the US as a "serious challenge".

Nevertheless, Russia's retaliation against Finland doesn't stop there. As "Belsat" reports, in November, hundreds of foreigners abruptly emerged at the border crossings between Russia and Finland looking to seek asylum in Europe. Helsinki accused the Kremlin of a hybrid attack and proceeded to close the border.

These countries maintained their distance

Throughout the course of the Cold War, Finland wisely balanced its relationship between the West and the USSR, the latter sharing a long border with it. This prompted the country to adopt a policy of non-engagement. On the flipside, the USSR refrained from interfering in their foreign policy. After the USSR collapsed, Finland began to lean increasingly towards the West. Still, for many years, it resisted joining NATO's military forces. Everything changed following Russia's aggression against Ukraine in 2022, and in April 2023, Finland officially became a member of the alliance.

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