Putin tells Finland joining NATO is a mistake

HISTORY: Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto on Saturday (May 14) that abandoning neutrality and joining NATO would be a mistake that could damage relations between their two countries.
The Kremlin reports.
The two countries said the presidents spoke by phone two days after Finland announced it would join the Western alliance.
Moscow has described this as a security threat that will require a response.
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But did not specify how.
Niinisto's office said he told Putin that Russia's demands in late 2021 aimed at blocking countries from joining NATO and its invasion of Ukraine in February had "changed Finland's security environment".
Finland wants to handle relations with its Russian neighbor "correctly and professionally".
Moscow described the call as a "frank exchange of views," usually a diplomatic euphemism for a difficult conversation.
Finland's application for membership is expected to be followed by a similar move by Sweden.
That confronts Putin with exactly what he was trying to avoid when he launched what Moscow is calling a "military special operation" - a further extension of NATO to Russia's borders.

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