Putin gets ‘exactly the opposite’ of the invasion goal as Finland joins NATO: Alliance’s chief.

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  • Vladimir Putin has achieved “exactly the opposite” of what he wanted by invading Ukraine, with Finland set to double NATO’s border with Russia.
  • Russia has said it will strengthen its military capacity in western and north-western regions in response, but Mr Stoltenberg said this has been the case for many years.
  • Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu called the expansion of NATO an “encroachment on our security and on Russia’s national interests”.
  • Russia will now share a land border with six NATO members and a sea border with two. Finland and Estonia and Latvia, share a direct land frontier with Russia.

Vladimir Putin has achieved “exactly the opposite” of what he wanted by invading Ukraine, with Finland set to double NATO‘s border with Russia, according to the alliance’s chief. The Russian leader wanted “less NATO along its borders” but his invasion pushed Finland to apply to the alliance – a decision previously “unthinkable” for the non-aligned country-said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Russia has said it will strengthen its military capacity in western and north-western regions in response, but Mr Stoltenberg said this has been the case for many years. He said Mr Putin has shown he “is willing to use military force” against its neighbours. “This is part of a pattern and that is exactly why we have strengthened NATO, our readiness, our presence in the eastern part of the alliance. “It was actually the invasion of Ukraine last year that led to the decision by Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership,” said Mr Stoltenberg.

Russia will take ‘counter-measures’ to NATO expansion. The Kremlin has said Finland’s accession to NATO risks “a significant expansion of the conflict”. Russia will be forced to take “counter-measures”, defence minister Sergei Shoigu said. He called the expansion of NATO – which was prompted by Russia’s invasion – an “encroachment on our security and on Russia’s national interests”. Mr Shoigu added the move would not impact the outcome of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine. Moscow has already said it will beef up military divisions stationed in its west and northwest.

NATO has roughly doubled its border with Russia by admitting Finland to the alliance. It will today become the fourth Nordic country to join the defence pact, extending the Russian frontier by more than 800 miles.

Russia pointed to NATO expansion as one justification for invading Ukraine, yet this prompted Finland to abandon years of military non-alignment to seek protection under the alliance’s clause five: an attack on one member is considered an attack on all.

It is the 31st nation to be accepted, meaning Russia will now share a land border with six NATO members and a sea border with two. Finland, founding member Norway, and Estonia and Latvia, both of which joined in 2004, share a direct land frontier with Russia.

Lithuanian and Polish territory backs onto Russian enclave Kaliningrad – claimed by the Russians after the Second World War and providing them with access to the Baltic Sea. Turkey and Romania share a Black Sea border with Russia, while Slovakia, Hungary and Romania link the rest of the eastern front of the alliance together but are separated by Belarus and Ukraine from Russian territory.

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