In mid-May, Sweden and Finland officially applied to join NATO, explaining the decision by growing tenses around the Europe due to the difficult situation in Ukraine and Russia’s special military operation there. The Head of the Finnish intelligence service Supo, Antti Pelttari, expressed his surprise of the fact Russia has not responded to Helsinki’s initiative with repressions.
According to Pelttari, Helsinki expected cyberattacks and hybrid attacks from Moscow during the discussion of Finland’s application to join NATO, but this did not happen, which is a “positive” moment.
“It has been rather quiet and let’s hope it stays that way”, Pelttari told The Financial Times. “It’s a positive thing that nothing has happened. But it’s also a positive thing that we have been prepared and able to protect society.”
He also noted that his country’s authorities hope that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has accepted their decision to join the North Atlantic Alliance, but they assume that Moscow is counting on the opportunity to influence the amount of foreign troops and nuclear weapons deployed in Finland.
“They are interested in what kind of NATO member Finland will be after joining the alliance,” Pelttari expressed the assumptions of the Finnish authorities about Russian expectations.
So far, Finland has not shown any interest in either foreign troops or nuclear weapons.
As reminded, the Kremlin has repeatedly warned that the further expansion of NATO won’t bring greater security to Europe. Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, said 12 military units and divisions in the western region will be placed in response to the Finnish and Swedish NATO applications.