Sauli Niinisto discusses Russia’s possible reaction following his country’s pledge to join NATO.
Finland shares a border with Russia that is more than 1,300 kilometres long, so maintaining neutrality in the power struggle between East and West has always been central to the country’s survival.
The Nordic nation had previously refused to join NATO. But following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Helsinki put its historical neutrality aside and officially requested to join the West’s major military alliance. In response, Moscow warned there could be political and military consequences.
So is a Russian offensive possible? And would Finland be prepared to face it?
The president of Finland, Sauli Niinisto, talks to Al Jazeera.