WW3 fears as Russian media asks Putin to ‘liberate’ Finland after NATO vote

As Finland moves towards NATO membership, Russian state media discusses whether they should “liberate” it.

The long-awaited move from the Finns was finally ratified by NATO member Turkey, leaving the Nordic country with a clear path to joining the security alliance.

In contrast, the move comes as a clear blow for Vladimir Putin's Russia, which shares a border with Finland in the north.

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The expansion of NATO has always been projected as a major source of anxiety for Putin, something he has painted himself as a defender against to the Russian people.

In the months leading up to the invasion of Ukraine, Putin bemoaned the country’s westward-looking ambitions and used it in part to justify his invasion.

Were Finland to make the move to join NATO it would, in the eyes of Russia, be another step in favour of the very thing they went to war against.

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO following the invasion of Ukraine with newly-heightened security concerns forcing their hands.

Previously the two nations had tried to steer clear of the alliance in favour of keeping the peace and not aggravating the giant to the east.

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Turkey had previously been frustrated with both Sweden and Finland’s relations with Kurdish rebel groups – groups it regards as terror organisations.

Sweden’s application still hasn't moved forward much.

On the back of all this, Russian TV show 60 Minutes discussed the possibility of “liberating” Finland.

The language used is very similar to how Russia claimed it was trying to “liberate” Ukraine from Nazis.

Dmitry Abzalov, a pundit on the show, said the situation was “out of our hands” and a “mess”.

Meanwhile Russia-1 host Olga Skabeyeva disagreed, saying the country was "our historical land" and adding: "We have to liberate the brotherly Finnish people.”

"First let's liberate everything else, and then let's deal with the brotherly Finnish people," said Abzalov.

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