“Russia has no problem with these countries because their entry into NATO does not pose a threat,” Putin said during the Joint Security Agreement (CSTO) summit.
However, the Russian leader said that if NATO expands with the location of “military infrastructure” in those countries, Moscow will be forced to “react”.
“We will decide on the basis of the threats that NATO poses to us,” Putin explained, referring to the expansion of the alliance as an “artificial” issue that was created “in the interests of US foreign policy.”
“NATO is being used as a foreign policy tool, basically, for one country, insistence, mastery and greater aggression,” the Russian leader denounced, adding that the expansion of the Western military establishment “exacerbates the already complex international situation. The defense sector”.
Putin sees the expansion as a tool used by the United States to “control the international situation from a security perspective and influence other parts of the world.”
On Saturday, Putin warned his Finnish counterpart, Saul Ninisto, that it would be “wrong” for the Nordic country to abandon neutrality to join NATO.
Before launching a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, the Russian leader demanded that NATO abandon plans to expand in Eastern Europe and withdraw military structures from allied countries after 1997.
On Sunday, Ninesto and the Finnish government formally approved the application for membership of NATO, which is due to be approved by parliament this week.
MOSCOW – accusing Helsinki of threatening Europe’s security by opening new allies north of the continent – cut off power supplies to a neighboring country on Saturday due to non-payment problems.
Finland’s entry into NATO would double the length of the Russian Federation’s border with the Atlantic Alliance, as Russia shares a 1,300 – kilometer border with that Scandinavian country.
At the moment, Russia is bordered by the following NATO members: Poland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, in addition to the 49 km maritime border with the United States.
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