"They will be the first to suffer": Russian diplomat calls Finland a "hostile player" and discusses the consequences of escalation between Russia and NATO
Russia has threatened that if tensions between Russia and NATO escalate, Finland will be the first country to suffer. Since the country joined NATO this year after decades of neutrality, Finland has now become a hostile player for Russia.
This is reported by Euractiv, citing the words of Russia's permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov. Also this month, Russia warned Finland about a new defense agreement that gives the United States broad access to Finland's border with Russia.
"They were living calmly and peacefully and suddenly found themselves between Russia and NATO as a member of this alliance, but since they are our neighbors, if, God forbid, there is any escalation, they will be the first to suffer," Ulyanov said.
In the near future, Russia will deploy its new artillery howitzers in the Northern Military District, which is neighboring Finland and Norway.
Tests of the new Coalition-SV self-propelled artillery systems have already been completed, and mass production of these systems has begun, Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov told the Russian news agency RIA. He noted that the first batch will be delivered by the end of 2023.
"I think they will appear there (in the Northern Military District) in the near future, because howitzers of this class are needed to have an advantage over Western artillery models in terms of range," Chemezov said.
Earlier it was reported that after the threats of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Finland announced a new 21st package of defense assistance to Ukraine. The decision was made by the President of the country on December 21, 2023, on the recommendation of the government.
Earlier, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo explained why his country closed the border with the aggressor country Russia. He noted that the reason for this was hybrid attacks by the Russian Federation, which target the sovereignty of Finland and the European Union. Russia is trying to put pressure on the country through illegal migrants.