Russian heavy weapons including missile systems have been seen moving towards the border with Finland, hours after Russia warned its northern neighbour against joining NATO.
A video uploaded last night appears to show two Russian coastal defence missile systems moving along a road on the Russian side of the border that leads to Helsinki.
The missile systems, which were seen driving past a sign to the Finnish capital, are thought to be the K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defence system, designed to take out surface ships up to and including aircraft carrier battle groups.
The Russian deployment comes as Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she expects her government ‘will end the discussion before midsummer’ on whether to apply for NATO membership.
Recent opinions polls by a Finnish market research company put 84% of Finns as viewing Russia as a ‘significant military threat’, up by 25% on last year.
In response, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov euphemistically warned the move would ‘not improve’ the security situation in Europe, and Moscow lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov added more bluntly it would mean ‘the destruction of the country’.
‘We have repeatedly said that the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation and its further expansion will not bring stability to the European continent,’ Peskov said.