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Russian warns Finland against hosting Nato military base on its border

FINLAND risks becoming a target if it hosts a Nato border military base, speaker of Russia’s State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said yesterday.

He was commenting after a story appeared in Finnish media about the border town of Lappeenranta whose mayor Kimmo Jarva hinted at the possibility. 

The report suggested that the border town is expecting an increase in investment if Finland’s bid to join Nato is successful. 

Broadcaster Yle reported Mr Jarva as saying that accession to the military alliance would bring a “sense of security” to the people and businesses in the South Karelia region. 

But Mr Volodin said that the Finnish politician is mistaken about how security works as military infrastructure would be the first target if conflict was to break out. 

“Hosting Nato bases would not protect either Finland or Sweden,” he said. “On the contrary, it would expose to an attack the residents of the cities that host military infrastructure.”

Finland’s bid to join Nato appeared to have edged closer last week after Turkey said it was prepared to approve its membership after a number of key demands were agreed.

But Ankara seemed to have performed a U-turn yesterday when Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “The real veto starts now. They have to comply with the document or we will not accept them into Nato.”

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