Putin Calls New NATO Memberships Pointless: Sends Military to the Finnish Border

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.13 - 2024 8:38 AM CET

Photo: Sebastian Castelier / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Sebastian Castelier / Shutterstock.com
Putin calls Sweden and Finland's NATO membership 'meaningless', sends Russian military to the border in response.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a stark warning to Sweden and Finland, coinciding with Sweden's completion of its NATO application process. Putin, in an interview with the state-run Russian news agency RIA, announced the deployment of soldiers and military equipment to the Nordic border, signaling a dramatic shift in Russia's military posture.

Putin characterized the Nordic countries' NATO membership as "absolutely pointless" from the perspective of securing their national interests, according to NRK, referencing Reuters.

This move, according to Putin, does not enhance the security of Sweden or Finland but instead prompts a Russian military response along the Finnish border.

"We had no forces there; now we will," Putin declared, highlighting a significant escalation in military readiness in the region.

Moreover, Putin's rhetoric has grown increasingly bellicose, with the Russian leader asserting that Russia is prepared for a nuclear confrontation with the West. This statement, reported by Reuters, underscores the heightened state of alert and readiness within the Russian military establishment.

Putin's warning about the potential for military intervention if U.S. troops were deployed on Russian territory or in Ukraine further exacerbates the geopolitical tension, with the Russian President cautioning against the escalation to a nuclear confrontation, yet affirming Russia's preparedness.

These developments come at a critical juncture for Putin, facing domestic political challenges ahead of the Russian presidential election scheduled from March 15 to 17.

Despite expectations of his continued grip on power, Putin's aggressive foreign policy stance and military posturing are viewed by some analysts as attempts to bolster his domestic standing amidst declining public support for his war efforts and recent military setbacks.

One such setback highlighted by Newsweek's consultation with Jason Jay Smart, an expert on post-Soviet and international politics, was the recent incursion by pro-Russian Ukrainian soldiers into Russian territory. This event, described as a "powerful demonstration" of Putin's diminishing control over Russia, underscores the complex interplay of domestic and international factors shaping Putin's current policy direction.

As the situation unfolds, the international community watches closely, with the Nordic countries' NATO membership serving as a focal point for broader geopolitical shifts and the recalibration of military strategies in the face of Russian aggression.

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