SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Russia tells Finland it will respond to defence pact with U.S.

Russia summoned Finland’s ambassador on Tuesday to object to a new defence agreement granting the United States broad access to the vicinity of the new NATO member’s long border with Russia, Moscow’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The ambassador was told Moscow would “not leave unanswered the buildup of NATO military potential on our border, which threatens the security of the Russian Federation, and would take the necessary measures to counter the aggressive decisions of Finland and its NATO allies,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

Finland became the U.S.-led NATO military alliance’s newest member this year in response to Russia’s despatch of troops into Ukraine in early 2022.

Monday’s agreement with the United States is aimed at allowing swift military access and aid to Finland in case of conflict, officials said ahead of the announcement.

The agreement lists 15 facilities and areas in Finland to which the U.S. military will have unimpeded access and where it can also store military equipment and ammunition, including four air bases and a military port.

The U.S. has similar agreements with many countries in eastern Europe.

The Kremlin said on Friday the pact would “pose an obvious threat to us” and lead to tensions with Helsinki.

    Source:
  • Reuters