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Russia Threatens to Retaliate Against Finland for Joining NATO


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HELSINKI, Finland – Russia is threatening military and other measures after Finland joined NATO this week. Vladimir Putin is nervous because it ends Finland's era of military non-alignment and doubles the length of NATO's shared border with Russia.

The 31st flag has been raised in front of NATO headquarters in Brussels, to celebrate Finland officially becoming the newest member of NATO. As a result, NATO nations now stretch 800 miles along Russia's border. It also means the NATO alliance has more than 60% of the world's combined military power.

"This is truly a historic day," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. "And I'm tempted to say this is may be the one thing we can thank Mr. Putin for, because he once again here has precipitated something he claims to want to prevent by Russia's aggression, causing many countries to believe that they have to do more to look out for their own defense and to make sure that they can deter possible Russian aggression going forward." 

"We're thrilled to have Finland as the 31st member of this alliance. So this is an important day on an important day already in NATO's history," he said.

CBN News visited a military museum here in Helsinki that details the storied history of the Finnish military. They've been legendary, especially throughout the 20th century, as they successfully fought off superior numbers, mostly the Soviets, with fewer men and fewer guns. 

That's one of the reasons why NATO's leaders wanted Finland and Sweden to join. They failed to get them to join for many years because they had a policy of military neutrality. But what NATO leaders failed at for years, Vladimir Putin succeeded at in days.

While Finland's active military is small, it's very well equipped. Finland's artillery capacity exceeds Poland, Germany, Norway and Sweden combined. Its forces have also been training alongside U.S. troops for years.

Finnish entrepreneur Lars Kahre told us, "As the situation in Europe has changed quite much over the last year, I think it (NATO membership) gives Finland a new opportunity for better safety in the future. For a long time, we have been relying on our independence and neutrality and now we just realized that that's not the path of the future. Now we need to look for new options for the future."

Retired citizen Matti Huuskoeneen said, "It's much safer to live here in Finland (as part of NATO) because we have a long, long border with Russia and we haven't been trusting so much that that border has been always so safe."
Maria Koivisto, another retired Finn, told us, "It's better than nothing, you know. If we are alone, there is no chance in this situation."

As the world waits to see how Putin responds to this new move, part of the Kremlin's consideration could focus on Finland's reserve corps of more than 900,000 citizen soldiers standing ready to deter any further Russian aggression. 

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