Russia will respond to Finland's NATO accession - foreign ministry
Russia said on Thursday that Finland's announcement that it wanted to join NATO was a "radical change" in its foreign policy,and that Moscow would respond.
"Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop threats to its national security arising," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
Finland's president and prime minister had said earlier that their country must apply to join the US-led Western military alliance "without delay", a major policy shift triggered by Russia's attack of Ukraine.
"Helsinki must be aware of the responsibility and consequences of such a move," Russia's foreign ministry said.
Russia opposes the expansion of NATO, which it says is designed to constrain Russia. Prior to attacking Ukraine in February, Moscow was demanding binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that the alliance would not admit new members.