Finnish NATO envoy says there is no “irregular activity” from Russia against his country
Finland, which is preparing a formal application for NATO membership, sees no one “direct military threats” from Russia at the moment, the Nordic nation’s ambassador to the US-led military alliance has said.
But the envoy claimed that Russia had previously attacked Finland with such activities and they are “nothing new.”
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made a joint statement on Thursday saying the country “must apply for NATO membership without delay.” The leaders said they would formally announce a decision on Sunday and forward it to the Finnish parliament for approval.
Korhonen explained that although Finland remained outside NATO during the Cold War, it has been 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 km) land border with Russia, already has “strong national defense” and joining the alliance would make the country protected “Even more efficient” he said.
“We have a strong defense, we have a very capable border guard, and I think we are awake right now, so I think the border is very safe.” added the envoy.
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Finland’s NATO membership would do so “absolutely” be a threat to Russia, and the further expansion of the US-led alliance “does not make our continent more stable and secure.”
Russia is already working on measures to “strengthen our western flanks in the context of strengthening NATO’s eastern flanks”, Peskov added.
READ MORE: Finland’s NATO membership will trigger answers – Moscow
The Finnish NATO ambassador also downplayed speculation that the events in Ukraine could trigger a nuclear conflict. We are currently “very far away from any nuclear power situation,” in Korhonen.
Finland’s neighbor Sweden is also considering an offer of NATO membership, and can send its application on Monday, according to local media.