Moscow sends warning to Finland

The Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

The Russian Foreign Ministry summons Finland’s Ambassador following the Nordic country’s signing of a Defence Cooperation Agreement with the USA.

Ambassador Antti Helanterä was early on the 19th of December called on the carpet in the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Moscow is highly displeased with Finland’s deeper military cooperation with the United States and Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a statement openly warns the neighbouring country.

According to the spokeswoman, who is known for her undiplomatic and aggressive statements, Ambassador Helanterä was told that the new agreement with the Americans “will not come without a response.”

“The stronger military potential of NATO on our border threatens the security of the Russian Federation and will be followed by a response from the Russian side,” she underlined.

“Necessary measures to counter the aggressive actions of Finland and its NATO allies will be taken,” she underlined and added that “the responsibility for the transformation of an area of good-neighborly relations to a region of possible confrontation fully lies on Finnish authorities.”

Defence agreement signed Monday 

The Russian threats comes after Finland on Monday this week signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement with the USA.

The agreement regulates US access to and use of a number of military facilities and areas across Finland, including in the northernmost region of Lapland. It also includes prepositioning of defence equipment, supplies and materials, and entry and movement of US aircraft, vessels and vehicles.

Similar agreements have been signed by Norway and Sweden, and Denmark is due to sign in course of few days.

Finland has a more than 1,300 km long border to Russia, and its Lapland region is located near Russia’s highly militarised Kola Peninsula.

Russia’s bloody and aggressive war against Ukraine has led to a comprehensive isolation of Russia in international affairs. The country’s dictatorial ruler Vladimir Putin says ‘NATO expansion’ is a key reason for the war. But the onslaught has only led to a historical strengthen of the defence alliance.

Finland formally joined NATO in April 2023 and Sweden is following suit.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: U.S. report claims Trudeau told NATO Canada will never meet military spending target, CBC News

Finland: New defence agreement: Finland invites American troops to bases in Lapland, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: British & Norwegian F-35s scrambled in North to intercept Russian military plane, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Putin beefs up naval nuclear arsenal, promises more subs, The Independent Barents Observer

United Kingdom: UK urged to bolster Arctic defense as grey-zone threats rise: report, Eye on the Arctic

United States: First U.S. deep water port for the Arctic to host cruise ships, military, The Associated Press

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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