Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, FinlandiStock

The Kremlin said on Thursday that Finland’s intention to join NATO posed a direct threat to Russia and will weaken Europe and make it less secure.

"Finland’s entry into NATO will become a threat to Russia," Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said to Russian media. "The next expansion of NATO does not make our continent more stable and secure."

"Of course, all this will become elements for a special analysis and development of the necessary measures in order to balance the situation and ensure our security," he said.

The statement from Russia came in response to the Finnish lawmakers calling for the country’s government to begin the NATO membership process “without delay,” Fox News reported.

The Finnish leaders said that NATO membership was essential to their country’s security in the wake of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Finland, which shares a border with Russia and was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939, has been talking about joining NATO since the Ukraine war began in February. Sweden has been making similar overtures to the 30-nation military alliance.