Moscow’s threats against the West are successive, on the occasion of the possible accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. At the same time, the two countries stress that the conflict in Ukraine has redefined their position on joining the North Atlantic Alliance.
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations said on Thursday that Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO would immediately turn them from neutral to hostile countries and potential targets for Russia.
Dmitry Polanski, Russia’s first deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said in an interview with the British magazine UnHerd that Helsinki and Stockholm knew that “the moment they join NATO, there will be some moves from the Russian side.”
“If there are NATO units in these territories, these territories will be the target – or potential target – of a strike,” Polanski added.
“NATO is a very hostile bloc to us – it is an enemy and NATO itself has acknowledged that Russia is the enemy. “It means that Finland and Sweden suddenly, instead of being neutral countries, become part of the enemy and face all the dangers.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Polanski downplayed the impact of possible NATO enlargement on Europe, saying Russia was “ready to face NATO threats and has taken the necessary precautions.”
Helsinki is concerned that Russia will immediately cut off gas supplies
Top Finnish politicians warn that Russia may cut off gas supplies to their country from tomorrow Friday, the Iltalehti newspaper writes, citing unnamed sources.
The report did not specify where the warning came from and Reuters was unable to verify the information.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sana Marin said today that the country would apply “without delay” for NATO membership. Most of Finland’s natural gas comes from Russia. However, natural gas accounts for only 5% of the country’s annual energy consumption.
Should deliveries from Russia stop, large industries such as Neste and Metsa, as well as other companies in the chemical, food and forestry sectors, will need to find alternative energy sources and adjust their production.
On May 5, the Finnish government said it was preparing for the possibility of Russia suspending deliveries later this month over Helsinki ‘s refusal to pay for gas in rubles.
With pipelines connecting them directly to Russia, Finland and the Baltic states are more dependent on Russian gas than other European countries. If Russian supplies fall or are cut off, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania may need to curb demand, the European Network of Gas Transmission System Operators (ENTSOG) said in its April forecast report for the summer. ).
Source: First Issue