Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and described the surprising call during a CNN interview after it was announced that Finland plans to join the NATO alliance.
“How concerned are you that he may retaliate?” asked CNN’s Dana Bash. Niinistö confirmed “now the situation has changed” and that Finland is in fact applying for NATO membership. The President said Putin expressed that he thinks it’s a mistake for Finland to join NATO, but Niinistö reiterated to Putin that joining “is not threatening you.”
Niinistö said overall the conversation was “calm and cool” and that Putin did not repeat his earlier threats of retaliating against Finland for joining NATO. “Did he say anything that did surprise you?” questioned CNN’s host.
BREAKING: Russia moves nuclear missiles towards Finland border in backlash over Nato bid. https://t.co/fgzgXnwjqK
— Metro (@MetroUK) May 16, 2022
“Actually the surprise was that he took it so calmly” Niinistö responded. “Do you believe that?” Bash asked, “that his tone will actually match how he feels?”
“You have to keep in mind that what he said doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be all the time quite, well, aware and to follow up with what really is happening” but “so far it seems there is no immediate problems coming.”
Being aware as to what really is happening is exactly right. Metro.co.uk tweeted video Monday that appears to show Russia is in fact moving nuclear missiles “towards Finland border in backlash over NATO bid.” For years Russia has deemed Finland “friendly” so long as it did not join NATO.
Seven launchers are thought to be en route according to commentary on a dash cam video broadcast by Russian media.
A person is heard to say: ‘As soon as the president of Finland said they were joining Nato, a whole division of Iskanders, seven of them is moving towards Vyborg.
‘Looks like a new military unit is about to be formed in Vyborg or the region.’
The footage emerged as it was claimed on Russian state television that Moscow could launch nuclear weapons on its European border if Sweden and Finland allow military bases on their territories.