NewsRussia threatens response to US-Finland defense pact over fears of NATO buildup

Russia threatens response to US‑Finland defense pact over fears of NATO buildup

Russia threatens response to US-Finland defense pact over fears of NATO buildup
Images source: © Licensor | Mikhail Svetlov
2:06 PM EST, December 19, 2023

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Russia summoned the Finnish ambassador to express opposition to the new defense agreement previously signed between Helsinki and the United States - according to the Moscow Ministry of Defense. This agreement, signed late-night USA time, grants broad access to Americans in areas near the Russian border.

Kremlin spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, informed the Finnish diplomat that Moscow "will not ignore NATO's military potential build-up at its border," as this threatens Russia's national security. She further stressed that Russia "will take necessary defensive measures in response to the provocative decisions made by Finland and its NATO allies."

The defense agreement, signed with America on Monday, is designed to provide quick military access and support to Finland in the event of a conflict, according to officials from both countries.

The agreement grants America's military unrestricted access to 15 specified sites and areas in Finland. This will, amongst other benefits, allow for the storage of equipment and ammunition. The sites include four airbases and a military port. Reuters reports that similar agreements have been established between the U.S. and many Eastern European countries.

Even before the military agreement was finalized, the Kremlin had issued a warning that the pact could pose a tangible threat to Russia. This could lead to increased tensions with Helsinki. In April this year, Finland joined the North Atlantic Alliance in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Related content