Russia has started moving nuclear-capable missiles towards its border with Finland hours after Moscow vowed not to tolerate Helsinki’s plans to join Nato.
The Kremlin issued a chilling warning that plans for both Finland and Sweden to sign up to the Atlantic alliance were a ‘grave mistake with far reaching consequences’.
Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said: ‘They should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it,’ and insisted ‘the general level of military tension will rise’.
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This morning a video believed to have been filmed on a road leading to Vyborg, around 24 miles from the Finnish border, shows the deployment of mobile Iskander missiles.
Seven launchers are thought to be en route according to commentary on a dash cam video broadcast by Russian media.
A person is heard to say: ‘As soon as the president of Finland said they were joining Nato, a whole division of Iskanders, seven of them is moving towards Vyborg.
‘Looks like a new military unit is about to be formed in Vyborg or the region.’
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The footage emerged as it was claimed on Russian state television that Moscow could launch nuclear weapons on its European border if Sweden and Finland allow military bases on their territories.
Vladimir Putin would be left with ‘no choice’ but to ‘neutralise the new threat’, a commentator suggested on channel Rossiya One.
Finland officially announced plans to sign up to Nato on Sunday, defying warnings from Russia that the move would be met with ‘retaliatory steps’.
Hours later, Sweden’s ruling Social Democrat party dropped its 73-year opposition to joining the alliance – abandoning decades of military non-alignment in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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In response, the commentator told Rossiya One: ‘Their official reason is fear. But they’ll have more fear in Nato.
‘When Nato bases appear in Sweden and Finland, Russia will have no choice but to neutralise the imbalance and new threat by deploying tactical weapons.’
Stockholm’s formal application to join Nato is expected to begin today after being debated and agreed by MPs.
The dramatic U-turn by Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and her party comes as she warned Sweden and Europe are facing a ‘dangerous new reality’.
‘The best thing for the security of Sweden and the Swedish people is to join Nato,’ she said.
Photo Credit: Getty