Daily Mail: Russia moves troops north after Finland announces its desire to join NATO
Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin announced the day before the possibility of her country joining NATO. According to the British newspaper Daily Mail, Russia then began the transfer of heavy weapons, including Bastion missile systems, in a northerly direction.
The Russian missiles seen passing the road sign for Helsinki are the K-300 Bastion-P mobile coastal defense system, designed to destroy enemy surface ships up to strike groups of aircraft carriers.
Meanwhile, as British experts point out, recent opinion polls in Finland showed that 84% of the country's citizens view Russia as a "serious military threat", up 25% from last year.
In response to Marin's rhetoric, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that the move would "not improve" the security situation in Europe. Peskov has made it clear that Russia will have to "balance the situation" with its own measures if Finland and Sweden join NATO.
Both countries have historically avoided membership in the North Atlantic alliance despite close ties to the West so as not to provoke Russia. However, Finns and Swedes have increased defense spending lately, with Helsinki announcing plans to spend £11m on drones and Stockholm adding £243m to its military budget.