Russia’s representative in Vienna calls Finland the first victim in case of Russia’s war with NATO

In case of military escalation between Russia and NATO, Finland, which joined the military bloc after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, will be the first of the North Atlantic Alliance countries to suffer, said Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna.

“We lived quietly, peacefully and suddenly found ourselves between Russia and NATO, as an integral part of the alliance, but they are our neighbors, and God forbid, if there is any aggravation, Finland itself will suffer first of all”, Ulyanov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

He also called “a serious challenge” the agreement between the U.S. and Finland on defense cooperation, under which the U.S. military will have access to military facilities on the territory of its ally.

The diplomat recalled that in response to Finland’s accession to NATO, Russia decided to reconstitute the Leningrad and Moscow military districts.

Earlier, Vladimir Putin said. “There were no problems. Now there will be”, he noted, adding that Russia has no interest in a military confrontation with NATO countries. US President Joe Biden’s statement that Russia could attack NATO if “Putin in Ukraine is not stopped” was called “complete nonsense” by the Russian president.

“I think President Biden understands that. This is just a figure of speech to justify his erroneous policy on the Russian direction”, Putin said.

At the CSTO summit in May this year, the “Russian president” claimed that the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance was being done “in the foreign policy interests” of the United States. “Russia has no problems with these states [Sweden and Finland], and so in this sense the expansion [of NATO] at the expense of these countries does not pose a direct threat”, Putin said.

Finland became a NATO member on April 4, applying after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Before that, Finland had no plans to give up its neutral status, which it had maintained for decades.

Earlier, experts at the Center for Security and Defense in Berlin urged Germany and other NATO members to prepare for war with Russia in 6-10 years. In their opinion, Moscow will need no more than 10 years to rebuild its army to attack NATO after the end of intense fighting in Ukraine. To prevent war, NATO countries must show Russia that a conflict with the bloc is hopeless for Moscow, the experts said.

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