Putin threatens NATO before Presidential elections: “Troops towards Finland”

Elizabeth Smith

Russian President Vladimir Putin announces the sending of troops to the border with Finland and once again assures that the country is ready to use nuclear weapons if its existence “is put at risk”. These are some of the salient points of a new interview that Putin gave to national television a few days before the presidential elections, scheduled for this weekend, and while the European Union has reached an agreement for a 5 billion fund for military aid to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a pro-Ukrainian Russian militia group entered Russia from Ukraine, occupying some villages and claiming responsibility for a drone attack against the headquarters of the security services in the city of Belgorod.

The group, already known for incursions carried out in the past, is made up of some right-wing extremist militiamen and supporters of Ilya Ponomarev, a former Russian opposition parliamentarian and historic rival of Alexei Navalny.

Putin threatens NATO in new interview

Putin’s interview is the last that the president has given before the presidential election. Putin began by talking about nuclear weapons and stating that Russia is ready to use them in the event of existential risks.

But denying that he ever had the intention of using them in Ukraine, an accusation made by US intelligence and repeated in recent days by various media.

Putin then repeated his willingness to begin peace negotiations. But on the condition that Russia is offered “guarantees” to prevent the negotiations from being used by Ukraine to “rearm itself”.

Finally, Putin criticized Finland’s decision to join NATO, stating that until now there were no Russian troops on its border, but that, inevitably, new ones will be sent soon.

The pro-Ukrainian militias attack

Putin also commented on the attack launched on March 12 by pro-Ukrainian militias which would have led to the occupation of some villages along the border.

“The Ukrainians are trying to attack Belgorod and Kursk to make up for their failures on the front,” Putin said, dismissing their goal of sabotaging the next elections as impossible.

Although the Russian Defense Ministry claims to have repelled the attack inflicting more than two hundred casualties on the militants, the armed groups, composed of an unspecified number of armed men and armored vehicles, maintained on Wednesday that their operations were still ongoing.

Their goal, they declared, is to “liberate” Russia and incite the population to revolt against Putin’s regime.

Read also: Russia, who will challenge Putin in the March elections?

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