Finland ready for potential Russian responses after joining NATO but sees no immediate attack threat

Petteri Orpo
Petteri Orpo
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Finland does not expect an immediate attack from Russia, but Helsinki is ready for it, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said in an interview with Rzeczpospolita on Feb. 19.

"We have one of the strongest armies in NATO with very significant reserve forces," said the Finnish premier.

Read also: Russian diplomat says Finland will be first to suffer during NATO escalation

“It's 800,000 people whom we can quickly mobilize under arms. So, we are talking about a highly effective deterrent force. We do not expect an immediate attack from Russia, but we are prepared!”

Russia is now a threat to every country in Europe, Orpo stated.

"The whole of Europe must wake up," said the Finnish official.

Read also: EU Foreign Affairs official says Europeans must better understand Russian threat

“And it must be done immediately. There is no time to waste. Our defense industry must be strengthened because we must help Ukraine right now. And in the medium and long term, Europe itself needs greater defense capabilities. We must effectively deter Russia from aggression against Europe.”

Finland officially joined NATO on April 4, 2023, becoming the 31st member of the North Atlantic Alliance. The country's accession to the Alliance will double the length of Russia's border with NATO – by 1,340 kilometers.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin threatened Finland with "problems" on Dec. 17 due to its accession to NATO. Before that, he claimed the countries had "the most cordial relations."

Russia's representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said in late December that Finland "will be the first to suffer" if there is "some kind of escalation" between NATO and Russia.

Read also: Finnish national plan for Ukrainian reconstruction soon to be published, says minister

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine