Finland and the Russian Federation: Moscow Seeks the Status Quo based on NATO Encroachment

Finland and the Russian Federation: Moscow Seeks the Status Quo based on NATO Encroachment

Ramazan Khalidov, Noriko Watanabe, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation is alarmed by the possible encroachment of NATO reaching Finland. This is based on the shared border between the Russian Federation and Finland along with the reality of NATO creating new major geopolitical concerns. Therefore, while political elites in Moscow fully respect the democratic rights of the people of Finland, the reality is that NATO membership of this nation will lead to counter-measures by the Russian Federation.

Putin pointedly reminded Finland that the current status quo benefits both nations. After all, military forces of the Russian Federation have been kept at a firm distance from border areas. This measure was implemented by Moscow based on the need to reassure Finland. At the same time, Putin wanted to show his full appreciation towards elites in Helsinki for the neutral stance taken by this nation in the realm of geopolitics.

However, if Finland decides to join NATO then mutual respect would take a battering given the prevailing conditions. In other words, the Russian Federation would need to take precautionary and defensive measures. Putin said, after talks with President Salui Niinisto of Finland, that “Do you think we will continue to act in the same manner (if Finland joins NATO)? We have withdrawn our troops to a distance of 1,500 kilometers (from the border). Do you think they will stay there?”

Putin further stated, “Paraphrasing a remark of one of my Finnish friends, I could say that NATO would probably be pleased to wage war on Russia until the last Finnish soldier… Do you want this? We don’t. As for you, you should decide for yourselves.”

NATO posturing towards the Russian Federation can be viewed by expansion proposals in relation to the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. Similarly, the ongoing expansion of NATO and more potent forward military mechanisms of this military alliance are clearly aimed at intimidating the Russian Federation.

Euro News says, “The Baltic Sea has been the arena for a series of close encounters between Russian and Western aircraft in recent months. The Russian and Finnish presidents agreed to draw up security measures to control flights in the area.”

Therefore, it is hoped that political elites in Finland will refrain from increasing tensions with the Russian Federation by joining NATO. Instead, Finland should focus on extending the hand of friendship and develop mutual security measures with the Russian Federation. At the same time, Finland should continue its strong relationship with Western powers and usual dealings with NATO. In other words, Finland should be outward looking irrespective if eastwards or westwards and focus on internal geopolitical issues that can easily fit in with powerful nations like America and the Russian Federation.

http://www.euronews.com/2016/07/01/putin-warns-finland-russia-will-respond-if-helsinki-joins-nato/

http://tass.ru/en/politics/886065

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Europe, Geopolitics, Miitary Conflict, NATO, Russian Federation