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Finland’s NATO Membership Creates Dilemma for Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Via Vladimir Putin/Twitter)

Finland’s recent membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has created a “real dilemma” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Western officials. The addition of Finland, which shares an 830-mile border with Russia, significantly contributes to NATO’s armament, and concerns Moscow about potential threats from the north.

Putin’s government has been responding to Finland’s decision with rhetoric, but experts question whether they have considered the consequences of their actions. One official noted that Russia’s combat losses would make it difficult for them to act on any threats of escalation, stating that “with what” would be the question. Moscow is attempting to deal with the perceived threat from the north, and negotiations over what weapons NATO will place in Finland are expected to be a key issue.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that Russia will respond to Finland’s membership based on what NATO does with the territory. The Russian foreign ministry issued a statement, stating that Russia will take military-technical and other measures to address national security threats arising from Finland joining NATO.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Via Vladimir Putin/Twitter)

Meanwhile, Western officials reported that Russian forces are making slow progress near Bakhmut, a key Ukrainian stronghold, despite deploying large numbers of troops. Ukraine’s possible counter-offensive would depend on complex factors, according to officials. The UK also announced £10 million in non-lethal aid for Ukraine and £2 million to support Georgia, Moldova, and Bosnia & Herzegovina in defending against Russian activity.

Finland’s president, Sauli Niinisto, and other heads of state welcomed the country’s membership in NATO, with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stating that it is a direct result of Putin’s aggression and illegal invasion of Ukraine. Sunak also called for Sweden’s membership process to be resolved, noting that every Nato member needs to take the necessary steps to admit Sweden to the organization.

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