Putin warns Finland, Sweden of ‘response’ over Nato bid


KYIV: Russian President Vladimir Putin advised Finland and Sweden on Monday to anticipate a “ response” for applying to join Nato as Ukraine braced for a new drive by Moscow’s forces in its eastern Donbas region.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Monday verified her country would apply to join the military alliance, the day after Finland — which shares a-kilometre border with Russia — said the same.

The two Nordic countries are poised to give up decades of militarynon-alignment over fears they could be coming in line following Moscow’s irruption of Ukraine on Feb 24.

Russia, whose war has sparked global outrage, killed thousands and created millions of deportees, advised that Nato’s expansion would have consequences.

The move poses “ no direct trouble for us. but the expansion of military structure to these homes will clearly provoke our response”, Putin told a meeting of a Moscow- led security alliance.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov had before called it a “ grave mistake with far- reaching consequences”. Russia has formerly suspended electricity inventories to Finland, citing payment issues.

But Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told lawgivers “ Our security terrain has unnaturally changed. “ The only country that threatens European security, and is now openly waging a war of aggression, is Russia.”

Despite the coffers of its giant neighbour, Ukraine has managed to repel Russian forces for longer than numerous originally anticipated, fortified by munitions and cash from Kyiv’s Western abettors.

Nato on Sunday promised open-concluded support, with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock saying the alliance would give military backing “ for as long as Ukraine needs”.

Ukraine’s defence ministry blazoned its colors had recaptured control of home on the Russian border near the country’s alternate-largest megacity of Kharkiv, which has been under constant attack.

“ We thank everyone who, risking their lives, liberates Ukraine from Russian raiders,” Kharkiv indigenous governor Oleg Synegubov said, adding “ We still have a lot of work ahead of us.” Since failing to take the capital Kyiv in the early weeks of the war, Moscow is presently fastening on Donbas, near the Russian border and home topro-Russian secessionists.

Still, Western intelligence has prognosticated its crusade will stall amid heavy losses and fierce resistance.

“ We’re preparing for new attempts by Russia to attack in Donbas, to ever consolidate its movement in the south of Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nocturnal address on Sunday.

Presidential counsel Oleksiy Arestovich told original TV Sunday that Russian colors were being redeployed towards Donbas after withdrawing from Kharkiv. They were being transferred towards Lugansk and “ their task is to take Severodonetsk,” the easternmost megacity still held by Ukraine.

The fall of Severodonetsk would grant the Kremlin de facto control of Lugansk, one of two regions — on with Donetsk — that comprise Donbas.

But Russia’s attempt to cross a swash to encircle it has been repelled with heavy losses of outfit, while Russian-engaged road islands were blown up, Ukrainian officers said.

Russia continued strikes on the Lugansk region, south of Kharkiv, killing two people and injuring nine during shelling of a Severodonetsk sanitarium, the Ukrainian administration said.

Latterly on Monday the Ukrainian side said a farther ten people were killed by Russian strikes on Severodonestsk, according to the original governor.

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