Finland’s NATO bid constitutes ‘radical’ foreign policy shift, says Russia


Finland’s intention to join NATO violates country’s obligations under international treaties, says Russian Foreign Ministry.

Russia said on Thursday that recent statements by Finland in favor of joining NATO constitute a “radical change” in the course of foreign policy.

The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement saying Finland’s decades-long policy of military non-alignment had served as the basis for stability in Northern Europe, while also providing a reliable level of security for the Finnish state.

That stance was also a solid foundation for building mutually beneficial cooperation and partnership with Russia, it said, adding that the role of the military factor in relations had been reduced to zero.

The statement stressed that if Finland joins NATO, it would be violating its obligation under the 1947 Paris Agreement, which prohibits signatories of entering alliances or participating in coalitions established against either one of them.

The 1947 Paris Agreement was signed between Finland and the World War II allies, including Russia, the US, Britain, and France.

The ministry also said Finland’s admission to NATO would contradict Helsinki’s 1992 agreement with Moscow, establishing that the parties would refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of the other, and also will not use or allow the use of their territory for armed aggression against the other.

“Neither Russia’s assurances about the absence of any hostile intentions towards Finland, nor the long history of good-neighborly and mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries have convinced Helsinki of the advantages of maintaining a course of military non-alignment.

“The goal of NATO, whose member countries aggressively convinced the Finnish side that there was no alternative to membership in the alliance, is clear — to continue expanding to the borders of Russia, to create another flank for a military threat to our country,” it said.

“But why should Finland turn its territory into a frontier of military confrontation with the Russian Federation, while losing independence in making its own decisions — history will judge,” the statement added.

The ministry underlined that it was up to the government and people of Finland to choose the country’s methods to ensure its national security, but added that they would have to face the responsibility and consequences of joining NATO.

Finland’s admission to NATO will seriously affect the Russian-Finnish relations and stability in Northern Europe, while Russia will be forced to take steps against the threats to its national security arising in this regard, it warned.



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