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Putin Warns NATO Against Expanding Military Presence in Finland and Sweden

HeadlineMay 17, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia can accept Finland and Sweden joining NATO, but not if new military bases are set up in the two countries.

President Vladimir Putin: “As for the expansion of NATO, including through new members of the alliance, Finland and Sweden, Russia wants to inform you that it has no problems with these states. None. And so, in this sense, there is no immediate threat to Russia from an expansion of NATO to include these countries. But the expansion of military infrastructure into this territory would certainly provoke our response. What that response will be, we will see what threats are created for us.”

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted he may block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO, but many analysts expect Turkey to back down in exchange for some concessions. Turkey has accused both countries of supporting the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is banned in Turkey.

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