Envoy says Finland prepared for any kind of attack by Russia -Die Welt

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Finland's flag flutters in Helsinki, Finland, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

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FRANKFURT, May 16 (Reuters) - Finland's ambassador to Germany, Anne Sipilainen, is not worried about Russia's threats over her country's move to join NATO as she sees Finland as prepared for any kind of attack from Moscow, German newspaper Die Welt reported on Monday.

Russia has said that it sees Finland's and Sweden's bids to join NATO as a hostile move and that it would respond if the countries expanded military infrastructure on their territory. read more

"We are not surprised. We have heard for years that Moscow will reply with countermeasures if Finland applies for NATO membership," Sipilainen told Die Welt, adding that she thinks the reactions from Russia have been "surprisingly mild so far."

"But they know that for years and decades, we have been very well prepared for all kinds of possible threats - not only military, but also cyber hybrid attacks and information operations," Sipilainen told the newspaper.

She added that Finland and Sweden have a very strong reserve army and will not only benefit from NATO's protection themselves, but also offer the organisation more protection in Northern Europe.

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Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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