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Russia is not done making threats, and it has shifted some of its attention to Finland and Sweden with a dire warning about their future if they decide to join NATO.
The Russian president warned that if they decided to join NATO it would have “serious military-political repercussions,” Fox News reported.
Maria Zakharova, a foreign ministry spokeswoman for the Russian government, sent the message as her nation’s military continued its onslaught in Ukraine.
“Finland and Sweden should not base their security on damaging the security of other countries and their accession to NATO can have detrimental consequences and face some military and political consequences,” she said.
After the speech, the Russian Ministry posted the same threat.
“We regard the Finnish government’s commitment to a military non-alignment policy as an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe,” it said. “Finland’s accession to @NATO would have serious military and political repercussions.”
Russia just threatened military consequences against Finland and Sweden.
They f***** insane. pic.twitter.com/w4BfHfYYEW
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) February 25, 2022
💬#Zakharova: We regard the Finnish government’s commitment to a military non-alignment policy as an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe.
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) February 25, 2022
Finnish Ambassador Mikko Hautala tweeted that a partnership with NATO was “very important” to his nation.
“Many people in DC ask about Finland and NATO. Partnership with the alliance is very important for us. While maintaining a strong national defense, we retain the opportunity to apply for membership. It is the sovereign right of each nation to make decisions on its security policy,” he said.
Many people in DC ask about Finland and NATO. Partnership with the alliance is very important for us. While maintaining a strong national defense, we retain the opportunity to apply for membership. It is the sovereign right of each nation to make decisions on its security policy.
— Mikko Hautala 🇫🇮 (@FINambUS) February 25, 2022
Ukrainian leaders have expressed a desire to join NATO, but Russia has expressed fierce opposition to an expansion of the 30-member alliance, particularly on its border with neighboring Ukraine.
As of Friday, Russian forces were closing in on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, but American intelligence experts have said Ukraine is putting up a greater resistance than anticipated. In an effort to defend the country, the government has handed out arms to citizens willing to fight.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that the alliance would defend its member states should Moscow launch an attack.
On Friday, he said NATO deployed its Response Force for collective security after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened the alliance by telling it to withdraw forces from member nations or face consequences.
“This goes far beyond Ukraine,” he said. “This is about how Russia is actually challenging, contesting core values for our security. Then warning that NATO should withdraw all forces and infrastructure from almost half of our members.
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to take a swipe at United States President Joe Biden and his lack of help as his nation is being bombarded by Russia.
“This morning we are defending our state alone. Like yesterday, the world’s most powerful forces are watching from afar,” he said. “Did yesterday’s sanctions convince Russia? We hear in our sky and see on our earth that this was not enough.”
In other words, as many predicted, Russian President Vladimir Putin does not care about sanctions.
“We are left alone in defense of our state. Who is ready to fight with us? Honestly – I do not see such. Who is ready to guarantee Ukraine’s accession to NATO? Honestly, everyone is afraid. … I tell all the partners of our state: now is an important moment – the fate of our country is being decided. I ask them: are you with us? They answer that they are with us. But they are not ready to take us to the Alliance. Today, I asked the twenty-seven leaders of Europe whether Ukraine will be in NATO. I asked directly. Everyone is afraid. They do not answer,” the Ukrainian president said.
“And we are not afraid of anything. We are not afraid to defend our state. We are not afraid of Russia. We are not afraid to talk to Russia. We are not afraid to say everything about security guarantees for our state. We are not afraid to talk about neutral status. We are not in NATO now. But the main thing – what security guarantees will we have? And what specific countries will give them?” he said.
He also talked about being a target for assassination by the Russians.
“I know that a lot of misinformation and rumors are being spread now. In particular, it is claimed that I have left Kyiv. I remain in the capital; I am staying with my people. My family is not a traitor, but a citizen of Ukraine. According to our information, the enemy marked me as the number one target,” he said.
“My family is the number two goal. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the Head of State. We have information that enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv. … I am staying in the government quarter together with others,” he said.