Home News Ottawa condemns the Russian embassy for calling Finland a “nuclear target” after joining NATO

Ottawa condemns the Russian embassy for calling Finland a “nuclear target” after joining NATO

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The federal government condemns a tweet from the Russian embassy in Canada that called new NATO member Finland a “nuclear target”.

The Scandinavian country officially joined the military alliance on Tuesday, in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The tweet, taken from the official account of the Russian Embassy, ​​accuses outgoing Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin of abandoning the country’s longstanding policy of non-alignment.

” [Marin] He succeeded in turning neutral Finland, which had good relations with all countries, including Russia, into another potential nuclear target.

A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Melanie Jolie condemned the tweet.

The Russian regime’s nuclear rhetoric is reckless. “We will never hesitate to speak out against its dangerous propaganda,” the spokesperson said in an email to CBC.

Embassy statement corresponds to Moscow’s increasing use of nuclear rhetoricWhich was recently condemned by NATO, describing it as “dangerous and irresponsible”.

When asked if the statement could lead to Canada expelling Russian diplomats, Jolie’s office said it would like to keep Canadian diplomatic staff in Moscow.

They continue to provide consular services, and their presence in Russia is in the direct interest of Canadians. Jolie’s spokesman said this required the Russian embassy to remain open on a reciprocal basis.

The flag of NATO and its center and the flag of Finland flutter over the Foreign Ministry building in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (Anti Hemelinen/Lettikova/Associated Press)

Finland shares a 1,340km border with Russia, so its entrance is twice the size of NATO’s border with Russia. The nation adopted neutrality after its defeat at the hands of the Soviets in World War II, but its leaders indicated their desire to join the coalition only months after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s all-out invasion of Ukraine.

“The era of non-alignment in our history has ended – a new era has begun,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said before raising his country’s blue and white flag outside NATO headquarters. A short distance outside the security fence, a few dozen of them draped in their countries’ flags chanted, “Ukraine needs NATO.”

Neighboring Sweden has also applied to join the coalition, but the accession process could take a few more months. Türkiye and Hungary have raised issues with Sweden that they want to settle before ratification.

In a statement, Jolie welcomed Finland’s membership in NATO.

“Today, when the flag of Finland is raised for the first time at NATO headquarters, we are more united than ever,” she said. Canada was proud to be the first country to ratify Finland’s membership, and we worked with Finland and our NATO partners to keep the momentum going through the ratification process.

“With Finland, and soon with Sweden, we are stronger than ever and ready to stand together to confront some of the most important challenges to our collective security in decades.”

The move is a strategic and political blow to Putin, who has long complained about NATO’s expansion into Russia.

Russia has warned that it will bolster defenses along its border with NATO if the alliance deploys additional troops or equipment to its newest members.

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