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Friday, February 16, 2024

Russia warns Finland and Poland says “it will be a threat”

Both Finland's Border Guard and the interior ministry were unaware of any plan to bring Polish military advisers to Finland's eastern border.

Russia warns Finland and Poland says “it will be a threat”

The Kremlin stated on Wednesday that if Finland decides to permit a “concentration” of troops on its border with Russia, Moscow would interpret it as a threat. This statement came after Poland offered to send military advisers to assist Helsinki in securing the frontier. Jacek Siewiera, the head of the Polish National Security Bureau, announced on social media late Tuesday that Poland would send military advisers to Finland in response to an official request for allied support against a hybrid attack on the Finnish border.

He mentioned, “A team of military advisers will provide on-site knowledge on border security, also in operational terms.” However, Finland stated on Wednesday that it was unaware of the Polish offer. The country had closed its entire 1,340 km border with Russia for two weeks, attributing it to a “hybrid attack” orchestrated by Moscow, a claim denied by the Kremlin.

“this will pose a threat to us”

When asked about the Polish offer, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov deemed it unnecessary for border security, asserting, “The Finns must be clearly aware that this will pose a threat to us—an increase in the concentration of military units on our borders.” Peskov stated that any planned deployment would be unprovoked and unjustified.

Both Finland’s Border Guard and the interior ministry were unaware of any plan to bring Polish military advisers to Finland’s eastern border. Requests for comments from Finland’s foreign and defense ministries, as well as its defense forces, went unanswered.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto had talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw last week, but Niinisto’s office clarified that military cooperation on the Finnish border with Russia was not discussed. Finland’s decision to join NATO earlier in the year had already strained relations with Russia.

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Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo had announced the closure of border crossing points with Russia to stem the flow of asylum seekers. Helsinki accused Moscow of guiding refugees towards its territory in retaliation for its cooperation with the United States, a claim Russia denied.