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Russian President Putin warns Finland

Associated TASS Citing a statement from the Kremlin’s press service, the Presidents of Russia and Finland had a sincere exchange of views on the Finnish leadership’s decision to apply to join NATO, which was announced recently.

“Vladimir Putin stressed that it would be wrong to reject the traditional policy of military neutrality because there is no threat to Finland’s security. A change in the country’s foreign policy could may have a negative effect on Russian-Finnish relations, which have been built for many years in the spirit of neighborliness and partnership and are of a win-win character,” the Kremlin noted.

The Kremlin added that the phone call between the leaders of Russia and Finland was held at the request of the Finnish side.

Discussions about Finland’s NATO membership were heated in early April. The main members of the alliance welcomed the idea. A majority of Finland’s members of parliament also support the country’s application to join NATO.

The Aftonbladet newspaper quoted Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto as saying that Finland’s permanent representative to NATO in Brussels may submit an application to join NATO on May 18.

“If negotiations with NATO start, a delegation led by our foreign minister and defense minister will lead the negotiating team,” the Finnish foreign minister said.

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