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NATO bases to put Finland, Sweden in danger, Russian Duma speaker warns

Vyacheslav Volodin took aim at claims trotted out by Finnish city of Lappeenranta Mayor Kimmo Jarva that NATO bases would create a sense of safety

MOSCOW, July 4. /TASS/. NATO bases in Finland and Sweden would not protect the two countries but would endanger the cities hosting military infrastructure facilities, Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Telegram on Monday.

"The establishment of NATO bases will make neither Finland nor Sweden safer. On the contrary, it will endanger the people living in the cities that are going to host the military infrastructure facilities," he pointed out, commenting on remarks by the mayor of the Finnish city of Lappeenranta.

Volodin took aim at claims trotted out by Mayor Kimmo Jarva that this would create a sense of safety. "He’s wrong. When military activities break out, strikes are first and foremost carried out on the enemy’s military infrastructure," the State Duma chairman stressed.

Finland and Sweden, who applied to join NATO on May 18, were expected to receive a formal invitation to become the bloc’s members at a NATO summit in Madrid but Turkey blocked the accession process. In Madrid, the foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed a memorandum making it possible for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. The document particularly provides for the two Nordic countries’ cooperation with Ankara in the fight against terrorism, namely the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its branches. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Sweden had pledged to extradite 73 people involved in terrorist activities to Turkey.