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Russia will strengthen border with Finland if NATO deploys weapons: top official

A top Russian official said in Moscow that Russia will strengthen its border with Finland if NATO’s striking weapons are deployed in the neighboring country amid the latter’s intention to join the military alliance.

“If NATO deploys offensive, striking weapons in Finland, in close proximity to us, we will strengthen our border and increase the presence of Russian troops on the border,” Viktor Bondarev, chairman of the Federation Council’s Defence and Security Committee, said late Sunday, according to reports.

In a geopolitical sense, he called Finland’s intention to join NATO “disturbing.”

Earlier on Sunday, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and the government’s foreign policy committee made an official decision to begin the process of applying to NATO.

President Niinisto described the day as historic, as a new era is beginning, during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

He stated that Finnish security is not a “zero-sum game” against anyone.

Niinisto informed Russian President Vladimir Putin of Finland’s decision to seek NATO membership in the coming days in a phone call initiated by Helsinki on Saturday.

In response, Putin “stressed that abandoning the traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake, because there are no threats to Finland’s security,” adding that it could harm Moscow-Helsinki relations.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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