Russian Responses to Finnish Statement on NATO
May 13, 2022 (EIRNS)—What Moscow sees in Finnish membership in NATO is Finland turning from being a neutral country it can deal with, to joining the enemy which now must be countered. “Without a doubt,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday, replying to a question on the matter. “Another expansion of NATO does not make our continent more stable and safe.” Russia’s reaction to Finland’s accession to NATO, Peskov continued, will depend on the proximity of the alliance’s infrastructure to its borders. “All will depend on what this process of expansion will imply. To what extent the military infrastructure will get closer to our borders,” he said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry warned in a statement that Russia will have to take measures to counter threats to Russia’s security if Finland does indeed join NATO. “The Russian side repeatedly noted that the choice of ways to ensure its national security is up to Finland’s authorities and people. However, Helsinki should realize the responsibility and the consequences of such a move,” the ministry said in a statement, reported TASS. “Finland joining NATO will seriously harm bilateral Russian-Finnish relations and the maintenance of stability and security in the North European region. Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps both of military-technical and of other nature in order to stop the threats to its national security that emerge as a result.”
The ministry also argued that Finnish accession to NATO will violate treaty obligations that Finland has signed on to, including the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, and the 1992 Treaty on the Foundations of Relations between Russia and Finland, “which establishes that the sides will refrain from the threat of force or the use of force against the territorial integrity or the political independence of the other side, (and) won’t use or allow to use their territory for armed aggression against the other side.” According to Wikipedia, the 1947 treaty “allowed the defeated Axis powers”—Italy, Finland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria—“to resume their responsibilities as sovereign states in international affairs and to qualify for membership in the United Nations.”
“However, given the current indifferent attitude to international law by the collective West, this behavior became the norm,” the Foreign Ministry said.