After Ukraine became a military target, now Russia began to warn Finland. Ukraine and Finland are Russia’s neighbors. Russia has warned Finland to abandon its plans to join NATO.
Otherwise, Russia will take “retaliatory action”. Just as happened with Ukraine which wanted to join NATO.
This was conveyed by the Deputy Chairman of the International Committee of the Federation Council (Senate) of Russia, Vladimir Dzhabarov, Wednesday (6/4/2022).
Dzhabarov responded to the discourse about Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
The two Scandinavian countries are close partners of the defense pact, although not members, taking part in joint military exercises in Norway in March-April 2022.
Especially for Finland, its status as a neighboring country of Russia made Dzhabarov give a strong response.
He believes that Finland will become a “target” for Russia if it joins NATO.
“If the Finnish government does it (join NATO), it will be a strategic mistake,” Dzhabarov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
“Finland, which has successfully developed so far thanks to its trade and economic partnership with Russia, will be a target. I think it will be a tragedy for all Finns.”
Discussions about NATO membership in Helsinki got hotter after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
The Finnish government is said to be deciding to join NATO in the fall of this year.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he would accept openly if Finland and Sweden wanted to join NATO.
Given that the joining of the two countries could trigger the anger of Vladimir Putin, Stoltenberg admitted that NATO would provide “security guarantees” in the period leading up to their joining.
However, this Norwegian politician was reluctant to elaborate further on what the security guarantees would be.
“We are confident we will find a way to address concerns that existed during the time between filing (membership) and final ratification,” Stoltenberg said.
Finland finally responded to Russia’s threats if they chose to join NATO.
The Scandinavian country decided to increase its military funding for the next 4 years.
Finland announced an increase of 2.2 billion euros or IDR 34.4 trillion for their military funding.
Quoted from the BBC, Thursday (7/4/2022), the additional funds will be used to pay for additional hundreds of professional soldiers, better defense security, and weapons including missiles and ammunition.
Finland currently has a 1,340 km border with Russia.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine increased support for Finland to join NATO.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said over the weekend that the attack on Ukraine required Finland to seriously consider its attitude and approach to military alignment.
Moreover, decide carefully but quickly during this spring.
Finnish Defense Ministry Timo Kivinen said the Russian invasion had underlined the importance of having rapid operational readiness. That is despite the debate over NATO membership and military investment that is about to begin.
Earlier, in February, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zarakhova had threatened if Finland and Sweden chose to join NATO.
“Their accession to NATO could have adverse consequences and there will be several military and political consequences,” he said.