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Ukraine war: Russia would bolster border defenses if Finland joins NATO, says Moscow’s ambassador to EU | World news

Russia will have to strengthen its defenses on the border with Finland if the Nordic country joins NATO, its ambassador to the EU warned.

Speaking to Sky News’ Beth Rigby, Vladimir Chizhov said it would “require certain military technical measures, such as improving or increasing the size of defense supplies along the Finnish border”.

Finland’s leaders have previously said they should apply to join the military alliance “without delay” in order to “strengthen” their security.

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The country shares a large border of more than 800 miles (1,287 km) with its much larger neighbor – who invaded it at the beginning of World War II.

Mr Chizhov’s warning reflects the Kremlin’s earlier remarks that Finland is joining NATO would “definitely” be a threat no Russia and would initiate “retaliatory steps”.

The ambassador said he was “deeply disappointed and saddened” by the NATO ambitions of Finland and Sweden.

He said Finland’s membership would “need true thinking of the Russian defense” but not “needed” [involve] troops and tanks, but certain preparations absolutely … like radars, maybe. “

Russia has long sought to prevent NATO from expanding near its borders and wants to Ukraine to become neutral.

Image:
Finland shares an 800-kilometer border with Russia
Finnish reservists train with live rounds in Taipalsaari, about 20 kilometers from Russia, on March 9
Image:
Finnish reservists train in Taipalsaari, about 20 kilometers from Russia, on March 9

Earlier on Thursday, the Finnish Prime Minister and Prime Minister made a joint statement on his ambitions for membership, signaling an end to his own policy of neutrality.

They said they hoped a decision on the application “would be taken quickly in the coming days”.

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance,” the statement added.

“Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay.”

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The country’s army is 200,000 strong – almost three times the size of the British army.

“Russia could have steamrolled Ukraine”

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Finland would be welcomed and that accession would be “smooth and quick”.

Neighboring Sweden is expected to decide in the coming days on joining NATO.

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Defense analyst Michael Clarke on why Finland and Sweden could join NATO

The Russian ambassador to the EU also insisted that the war in Ukraine – or its “special military operation” as it is called – “went according to plan”, but was “not as rapid as some people would have liked”.

Efforts to capture Kiev failed and the country is now focused on taking over the eastern Donbas region.

However, analysts – including from the Pentagon – say it is still making slow progress with things that are almost on a stalemate; while Ukraine has regained some territory, such as at Kharkiv in the northeast.

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Destruction in liberated villages in eastern Ukraine

“If the Russian army had followed the pattern of the US and other Western countries, we would have steamrolled Ukraine several times now,” Mr Chizhov told Sky News.

He asserted that Russia had never intended to conquer Ukrainian territory, but that it wanted to provide “security” only for self-proclaimed disintegrating republics and to demilitarize the country.

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How to join NATO

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The ambassador told Sky News he was “sure” there would be a negotiated solution to the war.

“If that happens then I will not try to speculate,” he said.

“When that definitive solution looks like – in detail – no one knows. But in principle, it will mean that Ukraine becomes a neutral state, not only, without a foreign military presence on its territory.

“Ukraine will have recognized the Donbas republics, and of course the reunification of Crimea with the Russian Federation.”

of Ukraine President Zelenskyy has said he is ready to discuss neutrality, but would not accept an agreement giving up territory or allowing Russian troops to remain in his country.

Ukraine war: Russia would bolster border defenses if Finland joins NATO, says Moscow’s ambassador to EU | World news

Source link Ukraine war: Russia would bolster border defenses if Finland joins NATO, says Moscow’s ambassador to EU | World news

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