In a phone call with Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö has described Helsinki’s plans to join NATO as a mistake. Russia does not pose a threat to the neighboring country, Putin emphasized during the talks on Saturday, according to the Kremlin. Finland’s departure from traditional neutrality will lead to a deterioration in what have been good neighborly relations, he warned.
The talks came about on the initiative of the Finnish President to explain the decision to join NATO in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Helsinki sources. “The conversation was open and direct, but was conducted without exacerbation. It was considered important to avoid tensions,” Niinistö said, according to the Finnish Presidential Office website.