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Duma chair: Nato bases would not bring security to Finland

The mayor of Lappeenranta, in eastern Finland, has suggested that if it's necessary, a military base could be set up at the city's airport.

Duuman istuntosali. Pääministeri pitää puhetta puhujanpöntössä.
File photo of plenary session of the Russian State Duma in Moscow, Russia, taken on 12 May 2021. Image: Yuri Kochetkov / EPA
Yle News

The Chair of Russia's State Duma said that setting up Nato military bases in Finland or Sweden "will not protect" the countries, but also endanger those who live near such facilities.

The Duma chair, Vyacheslav Volodin, was responding to a comment by Kimmo Jarva, the mayor of Lappeenranta, a Finnish city near the Russian border. Jarva said that if necessary, the city's airport could host a Nato military base.

Volodin issued a reaction to the statement on his Telegram account on Monday.

"Deployment of NATO military bases will not protect either Finland or Sweden. Just the opposite. It will put the residents of cities at risk, as the military infrastructure [will be located there]," Volodin said.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden both applied for Nato membership in May.

Much like former President Dmitri Medvedev, Volodin has been a staunch supporter of the Ukraine invasion since it began at the end of February.

Last week, current Russian President Vladimir Putin said Finland and Sweden's pending membership in Nato did not pose an immediate threat to Russia. However, news agency Reuters reported that Putin also warned Russia would respond if Nato deployed troops and infrastructure in Finland and Sweden.

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