Russia threatens 'serious military repercussions' if Finland joins NATO

Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

Russia has warned of "serious military and political repercussions" if Finland joins NATO amid the Ukraine crisis.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the country's accession to NATO, the military alliance currently made up of 28 European countries plus the US and Canada, could "have detrimental consequences".

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine this week, Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin said the debate surrounding Finland's membership of NATO "will change".

Asked about this on Friday, Zakharova began with a veiled warning.

In translated remarks at a press conference, she said: "The Finnish government's policy of military non-alliance is an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe.

"At the same time, we cannot help but note the targeted efforts of NATO and other members of this alliance to involve Finland as well as Sweden [a fellow non-member] in this alliance."

She said "the intensity of practical interaction between Helsinki and Stockholm with NATO" is "nothing new".

She claimed "they have conducted NATO's military exercises - these countries have provided territory for such manoeuvres of this military alliance.

"We have seen this policy over a number of years... and Finland and Sweden should not base their security on damaging security of other countries. Their accession to NATO can have detrimental consequences... and face military and political consequences."

A follow-up tweet from the Russian Foreign Ministry read: "Finland’s accession to NATO would have serious military and political repercussions."

Prime minister Marin previously said last month it is "very unlikely" Finland - which borders Russia - would apply for a NATO membership during her current term of office.