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Finland sends defiant message after NATO joining vote and refuses to send money to Russia


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has drastically changed the security landscape of Europe, with previously neutral countries like Sweden and Finland pledging to join NATO. Earlier today, the Finnish parliament overwhelmingly voted to join the military alliance that vows to defend a member country if it is attacked. Along with Finland, it’s neighbour Sweden has also confirmed its intention to join NATO.

Addressing the Swedish parliament, Finnish Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö said the two countries “took peace for granted”, however, “the peace was broken” on February 24.

This was a reference to the day Russian forces invaded Ukraine, after months of military build up along the border.

Mr Niinisto said: “Our old ways of handling things no longer correspond to the new situation.

“Our relations with Russia have changed.”

This move by both Sweden and Finland is a major humiliation for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who some experts say invaded Ukraine as retaliation for Kyiv’s bid to join NATO.

Addressing the Swedish parliament, Finnish Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö said the two countries “took peace for granted”, however, “the peace was broken” on February 24.

This was a reference to the day Russian forces invaded Ukraine, after months of military build up along the border.
Mr Niinisto said: “Our old ways of handling things no longer correspond to the new situation.

“Our relations with Russia have changed.”

This move by both Sweden and Finland is a major humiliation for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who some experts say invaded Ukraine as retaliation for Kyiv’s bid to join NATO.

Speaking in Moscow at a summit of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), Putin stated that Russia had no issues with the two countries joining the alliance.

However, he added: “but the expansion of military infrastructure into this territory would certainly provoke our response.

“What that (response) will be – we will see what threats are created for us.

“Problems are being created for no reason at all. We shall react accordingly.”

READ MORE: Putin eyes Finland with fears Russia will stop oil supplies today

Earlier today, Finland’s state-owned energy provider Gasum noted that it would take its dispute over ruble payments with Russia’s energy behemoth Gazprom to arbitration proceedings.

Gasum CEO Mika Wiljanen said in a statement: “In this situation, Gasum had no choice but to take the contract to arbitration.

“In this challenging situation, we will do our utmost to be able to supply our Finnish customers with the energy they need.”

As a result of Finland’s bid to join NATO, Finnish ministers are preparing for a strong retaliation from Moscow, with some ministers saying that Russia could cut off energy supplies at any point.

Sources also told Finnish publication Iltalehti that “key politicians” in Helsinki were warned on Thursday about the potential for imminent disruption.

This bid to join NATO, combined with Finland’s refusal to pay Putin with rubes, could signal a gas supply shut off by Russia.



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