Moscow is set to take “adequate countermeasures” to oppose military threats near its western borders posed by Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership, says Russia’s defense minister.
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin has rejected the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons or establishing NATO military bases on her country's soil even in the event that Helsinki becomes a member of the US-led Western military alliance.
Finland and Sweden are set to buy portable firearms and anti-tank weapons, Finland’s defense ministry has announced, as the Nordic countries have formally applied to join NATO.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he cannot endorse the bid of Sweden to join the NATO military alliance as long as the two Nordic countries continue to lend support to terrorist groups against his country.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has voiced the bloc's readiness to defend Finland and Sweden in the event of a Russian attack even before the two countries become NATO members.
Russia says Finland and Sweden's potential membership in NATO would probably make no difference as the pair have long participated in the military alliance's drills along with other putative neutral countries in the region.
The Russian army has focused its fresh offensive in Ukraine on the eastern Donetsk region, targeting military sites in several towns across the restive region, the Ukrainian military said on Monday.
Russia is likely to suspend electricity supplies to Finland this weekend as Helsinki seems adamant about pursuing its ambitious bid of joining the US-led NATO military alliance amid the raging war in Ukraine.
Security experts have warned that further confrontation between the West and Russia seems inevitable as Finland looks set to become the 31st member of the NATO military alliance.
The US and some European governments say they will support Finland and Sweden joining the NATO military alliance despite Russia's warning of dire consequences.