Putin Deploys Troops Along Finland Border In Response To NATO Accession

by Vern Evans

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in fresh remarks that Finland and Sweden’s entry into NATO is “a meaningless step” but that in response Moscow will still deploy troops and “systems of destruction” to the Finnish border after Finland joined the alliance.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t understand why they need this. This is an absolutely meaningless step from the point of view of ensuring their own national interests,” Putin said.

“We generally had ideal relations with Finland, simply ideal. We did not have a single claim against each other, especially territorial ones,” Putin continued, before saying that Finland’s NATO accession was really born out of a desire to “join the Western club”.

“We didn’t even have troops; we removed all the troops from there, from the Russian-Finnish border,” he said. “However, it is up to them to decide. That’s what they decided. But we didn’t have troops there, now we will.”

Finland became the 31st member of the alliance last April, but it was on Monday that Sweden formally became the 32nd at a flag-raising ceremony at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said expressly at the ceremony that his country abandoned historic neutrality as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The Russian, brutal, full-scale invasion against Ukraine united Sweden behind the conclusion that a full-fledged NATO membership is the only reasonable choice,” Kristersson said.

On Wednesday soaring tensions between Russia and Nordic countries were on display during new remarks of Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.

He claimed in a speech before the European Parliament that Moscow is preparing for a “long conflict with the West” and “represents a permanent and essential military threat to Europe.”

“If we, as a united Europe, fail to respond sufficiently to this challenge, the coming years will be filled with danger and the looming threat of attack,” he said, before adding: “Russia is not invincible.”

Denmark too is among those calling for increased defense spending and greater coordination on European defense. This has been a persistent talking point over the last months as Ukraine forces are not fairing well on the battlefield, an

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