Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Finland's accession to NATO would be "another aggravation of the situation."
"The Kremlin believes that this is another aggravation of the situation. The expansion of NATO is an encroachment on our security and national interests of the Russian Federation. We talked about it, and this is how we perceive it," RIA Novosti quotes Peskov as saying.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that it was Russia's actions that led to the expansion of NATO, and not vice versa.
The Secretary General stressed that the Russian president achieved "completely opposite" to what he sought by invading Ukraine. He wanted "less NATO on its borders," but Russia's war against Ukraine pushed Finland to join the Alliance. He noted that Putin had proved that he was "ready to use military force" against his neighbors.
"This is part of the playbook, and that is why we have strengthened NATO, our readiness, our presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. In fact, it was the invasion of Ukraine last year that led to the decision of Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership," Stoltenberg said.