Putin, 6 years ago on Finland & NATO
“We have withdrawn all our armed forces from the borders of Finland to a depth of 1,500 kilometers. And, despite the tension in the Baltic Sea region, nothing was done that could cause concern to the Finns.
Incidentally, we are doing this on the basis of Finland’s neutral status. Imagine Finland joining NATO. This means that the Finnish troops will no longer be independent, sovereign in the full sense of the word. They will become part of NATO’s military infrastructure, which will suddenly appear on the borders of the Russian Federation.
Do you think we will continue to act like this: we have withdrawn our troops for 1,500 kilometers, so they will remain there, or what? We cherish the neutral status of Finland, we treat it with respect, but it is not up to us to decide this issue. Paraphrasing the statement of one of my Finnish friends, I could say that the NATO organization would probably be happy to fight Russia to the last Finnish soldier. You need it?”