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Putin threatens to deploy weapon systems on Finnish border because of its NATO membership again

Wednesday, 13 March 2024, 13:19
Putin threatens to deploy weapon systems on Finnish border because of its NATO membership again
Vladimir Putin. Stock photo: Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that he "does not understand" why Finland has decided to become a NATO member after decades of neutrality, adding that Russian weapon systems will now be deployed near its border.

Source: Putin in an interview with Kremlin-aligned propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov

Details: Putin claimed that Russia and Finland had "perfect relations" with no complaints against each other, and he, therefore, "did not understand" why Helsinki decided to join NATO after Russia launched a full-scale war against Ukraine.


"We didn't even have troops there, we withdrew all our forces from the Finnish border. Why would they do that? I think it was purely for political reasons. They probably wanted to be members of the Western club under some kind of umbrella," said Vladimir Putin, adding that he considered it a "senseless step" for Finland's interests.

"But it's up to them, they made the decision. We had no troops there, and now we will have them deployed. We didn't have any weapons [near the Finnish border], but now we will," he added. 

Background: Russia began threatening Finland over its NATO aspirations even before Helsinki had made a final decision to apply, with the Russian Foreign Ministry promising a response of a "military, technical and other nature".

At that time, a video, which appeared to be staged, was also released, supposedly featuring the deployment of Russian Bastion coastal defence systems towards the Finnish border. Back then, Finnish experts noted that the presence of these weapons systems on the Karelian Isthmus was not something out of the ordinary, while Finnish activists jokingly filmed an identical video of "tractor forces" being sent to the border with Russia.

In early 2023, Russia's Defence Minister announced the creation of a new army corps in Karelia, which will include three motorised infantry and two air assault divisions. At the same time, the creation of the Leningrad Military District was announced.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, congratulating Sweden on completing its accession to NATO, reminded the Kremlin that Russia should "thank" itself for the new expansion of the Alliance.

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