(Reuters) – Finland would be wrong to give up its neutrality and join NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday, warning his Finnish counterpart of the consequences of such a decision.
The two men spoke by telephone two days after the declarations of the Head of State and his government in favor of a rapid accession to the Atlantic Alliance, a major turning point in the foreign policy of Helsinki caused by the Russian invasion in Ukraine .
Sweden should quickly follow this example and several sources within NATO expect to see the two Nordic countries request to integrate the Alliance in the coming days and quickly obtain the status of member country.
According to the Finnish presidency, Sauli Niinisto informed his interlocutor that the will expressed at the end of 2021 by Moscow to prevent any new accession to NATO and the invasion of Ukraine at the end of February 2022 had dealt a blow to the security environment of Finland.
Vladimir Poutine has as for him ” underlined that the abandonment of the military neutrality of Finland would be a mistake since nothing threatens the security of Finland “.
“Such an upheaval of the foreign policy of the country will have negative consequences on the Russo-Finnish relations”, said Vladimir Putin quoted by the Kremlin.
(With Essi Lehto; French version Nicolas Delame)