World

Putin: Russia will respond if NATO sets up infrastructure in Finland, Sweden

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would respond in kind if NATO deployed troops and infrastructure in Finland and Sweden after they join the US-led military alliance.

“With Sweden and Finland, we don’t have the problems that we have with Ukraine. They want to join NATO, go ahead,” Putin told Russian state television after talks with regional leaders in the central Asian ex-Soviet state of Turkmenistan.

“But they must understand there was no threat before, while now, if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed there, we will have to respond in kind and create the same threats for the territories from which threats towards us are created.”

He said it was inevitable that Moscow’s relations with Helsinki and Stockholm would sour over their NATO membership.

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