Finland braces for Russian gas supply cut off after pledge to join Nato
Finland is preparing for Russia to its gas supplies amid its proposal to join Nato, local media reports have stated.
The Kremlin threatened Finland on Thursday, after the country took the landmark decision to apply to join Nato, saying the “Russian Federation will be forced to take certain military steps”.
It is feared Russian gas exports could be halted as soon as Friday, according to local media outlet, Iltalehti.
“The expansion of Nato and the approach of the alliance to our borders do not make the world and our continent more stable and secure,” Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said.
“Everything will depend on how this process takes place, how far the military infrastructure moves towards our borders.”
Sweden too has announced its intent to join the security alliance, prompting Dmitry Polyansky, deputy representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, to say: “As soon as Finland and Sweden become Nato members and the alliance units are there, these territories will become a possible target for the Russian military.
“The Russian Federation will be forced to take certain military steps if Finland and Sweden join Nato.”
There are also fears Russia may attempt to funnel migrant flows to Finland, similar to what was seen on the Belarus-Poland border earlier this year.
Sauli Niinisto, the president of Finland, and Sanna Marin, the prime minister, issued a joint statement on Thursday where the two called for the country to join the security alliance “without delay” as the war in Ukraine rages on.
Despite refusing to join Nato previously, officials have said membership is the “best option” for the country which shares a 830-mile long border with Russia.
The pair said in a statement: “Now that the moment of decision-making is near, we state our equal views, also for information to the parliamentary groups and parties.
“As a member of Nato, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance.
“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.”
This comes after Boris Johnson announced mutual security pacts with both Sweden and Finland during a visit to the Nordic states.