After Ukraine, Russia warns Finland of 'military repercussions' if it joins NATO

The Finnish prime minister said the debate within Finland on NATO membership "will change" following the start of a war in Ukraine.

 Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin (photo credit: VIA REUTERS)
Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin
(photo credit: VIA REUTERS)

Russia warned neighboring Finland on Friday of "serious military and political" repercussions if the Scandinavian nation opts to join NATO following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said during a weekly briefing that a Finnish addition to NATO could have "detrimental consequences."

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday that the debate within Finland on NATO membership "will change" following the start of a war in Ukraine.

Both Marin and Finland's president Sauli Niinisto strongly condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine.

"Despite prior warnings, this morning has come as a shock for all of us and our deepest feelings are with Ukrainian people," Niinisto said.

 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a NATO Defence Ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/PASCAL ROSSIGNOL) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a NATO Defence Ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/PASCAL ROSSIGNOL)

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Niinisto ruled out the possibility of Finland reacting to the events by immediately applying for NATO membership.

In Finland, "we are now seeing quick comments for applying today and joining tomorrow," he said. "These sensitive reactions are understandable but cannot really work in the real world."

Reuters contributed to this report.