If Finland joins NATO, the Russian troops are unlikely to remain retracted at a distance of 1,500 kilometers from the border.
This was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Helsinki, the Kremlin website states.
“Imagine that Finland joins NATO. This means that Finnish troops will cease to be independent, will cease to be sovereign in the full sense of this word. They will become a part of NATO's military infrastructure, which overnight will appear on the Russian borders,” Putin said.
The Russian President reiterated that Moscow has adopted and complied with the decision to withdraw troops 1,500 kilometers away from the Finnish-Russian border.
“Do you think we'll keep acting this way: withdraw our troops 1,500 km away and they will remain there you think? Paraphrasing one of my Finnish friends I might say that NATO would be happy to fight with Russia until the last Finnish soldier. Do you need this? No, we don't want this, and you have to decide for yourself what do you want," he added.
Previously, President of Finland Sauli Niinistö said that in the event of a serious deterioration of the security situation, Finland would apply for NATO membership.