Russian leader Vladimir Putin said that the country is not interested in fighting NATO and referred to as "complete nonsense" claims according to which Russia could attack a NATO member should it be allowed to win in Ukraine. But Putin also warned that Finland's recent NATO accession could cause it problems.
"Russia has no reason, no interest – neither geopolitical, economic nor military –to fight with NATO countries," Putin said in an interview to Rossiya 1, excerpts of which where shared on social media by host Pavel Zarubin on Sunday. "We have no territorial pretentions nor the desire to ruin relations with them," Putin added.
U.S. President Joe Biden recently suggested that Russia could attack a NATO member after achieving its goals in Ukraine.
"It is complete nonsense – and I think President Biden understands that," Putin said, adding that Biden appeared to be trying to justify his own "mistaken policy" on Russia.
Putin said that Russia has no issues with NATO members and that the latter are created artificially because the alliance does not need Russia as a competitor.
Finland could experience problems
But Putin said that Finland's entry into NATO in April would force Russia to "concentrate certain military units" in northern Russia near their border.
"They went ahead and pulled Finland into NATO too. Did we have any problems with Finland? All of our disagreements, including those pertaining to territory were resolved a long time ago, in the middle of the 20th century," Putin said in the interview. There were no problems, while there will be now because we are creating the Leningrad military area and stationing some units there. Why do they need this, it's just nonsense," Putin also said.
Finland joined NATO in the spring of 2023.
Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski
Source: Reuters, Interfax