Finland’s NATO membership to harm Moscow-Helsinki ties

TEHRAN, Apr. 04 (MNA) – The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed disappointment with Helsinki’s decision to join the US-led military alliance officially.

"We are certain that this hasty move by Finland's authorities, taken without due consideration of the public’s opinion by means of calling a referendum and conducting a thorough analysis of the consequences NATO membership will entail will be judged by history. Finland's accession to NATO cannot but adversely affect Russian-Finnish bilateral relations as well," the Foreign Ministry said, according to TASS.

In response to this move by Finland, Russia "will be forced to take retaliatory measures, both military-technical and other, in order to ward off threats" to national security.

"Concrete steps in the field of creating defense infrastructure on Russia's northwestern borders will depend on the specific conditions of that country's integration into the North Atlantic Alliance, including the deployment of NATO’s military infrastructure and attack weapon systems on its territory," the statement reads.

The Foreign Ministry also drew attention to the fact that the line of NATO’s contact with the Russian border has more than doubled. As a result of this, "there has been a radical change in the situation in the North European region, which used to be one of the most stable ones in the world."

"The North Atlantic Alliance has taken another step to approach Russian territory," the Foreign Ministry stressed.

It recalled that in the wake of World War II Finland opted for military non-alignment. By doing so the "Finnish leaders displayed wisdom to place the national policy on the basis of pragmatic and mutually beneficial cooperation with neighbors and of non-alignment."

The Russian Foreign Ministry added that by joining NATO Finland "unequivocally relinquished its identity and independence that had distinguished it in international affairs for decades."

"Helsinki’s previous policy of military non-alignment had served Finland’s national interests for a long time and was one of the important factors for trust and confidence in the Baltic Sea region and in Europe in general. Now, this is a thing of the past. Finland has become one of the small member-states of the alliance that decide nothing. It has lost its special say in international affairs," the statement reads.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in a tweet on Tuesday announced that Finland has officially joined NATO.

Extending felicitations to Finland, the Polish prime minister wrote,  "From today, the alliance is made up of 31 countries."

"Strong partners provide a guarantee of security for Poland, our region and the whole world," he asserted.

It follows the parliament of Turkey’s approval to ratify a protocol on Finland’s accession to NATO on Thursday, the last hurdle to its entrance to the alliance.

Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO last year following the Ukraine conflict.

While Western powers supported the bids and accepted their applications in June, Turkey and Hungary stalled the ratification process required from all NATO members.


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