Russia doubles down on pesky Finnish NATO membership

Vladimir Putin has said Russia has no issue with Finland and Sweden, but warned Moscow would react to the expansion of military infrastructure on their territories as both countries move closer to joining NATO.

Speaking in Moscow at a summit of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), he said Russia must look closely at what he described as the US-led military alliance’s plans to increase its global influence.

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Finland and Sweden have confirmed they will apply to join NATO despite warnings from Russia that it would be a “mistake” to do so.

Finland shares an 810-mile (1,300km) land border with Russia and Sweden a maritime border.

Both countries have for decades considered that joining NATO would represent an unnecessary provocation of Moscow.

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