Finland's leaders call for NATO membership 'without delay', Kremlin sees move as threat to Russia

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would see Finland’s accession to NATO as a threat and that the move would not contribute to more stability and more security in the world.

Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) land border with Russia.

Speaking after Finland’s top leaders announced they’re in favor of rapidly applying for NATO membership, Peskov told reporters, "as we have said many times before, NATO expansion does not make the world more stable and secure."

Peskov noted that Russia’s reaction will depend on how close NATO’s military infrastructure will approach Russia’s borders.

"It will depend on what this expansion process will entail, how far and how close to our borders the military infrastructure will move," Peskov said.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced Finland’s intentions on Thursday. Neighboring Sweden is expected to announce their decision to join the alliance in the coming days.

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance,” Niinisto and Marin said in a joint statement. “Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

  Finland, NATO, NATO membership