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Putin warns Finland NATO membership would harm relations

Vladimir Putin
Posted at 6:39 PM, May 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-14 18:39:36-04

HELSINKI (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned his Finnish counterpart that relations between the two neighbors could be “negatively affected” if Finland follows through with plans to apply for NATO membership.

The Kremlin’s press service said in a statement Saturday that Putin told Sauli Niinisto Finland’s abandonment “of its traditional policy of military neutrality would be an error since there are no threats to Finland’s security.”

The response came after Niinisto told Putin in a phone conversation that the militarily non-aligned Nordic country “will decide to apply for NATO membership in the coming days.”

Niinisto told Putin that Finland’s security environment had starkly changed after Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.