Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niiniste, the parties discussed the republic’s intentions to join NATO, according to the Kremlin’s website.

This week, in a joint statement, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and President Niiniste expressed the position that Finland needs to apply to join the North Atlantic Alliance as soon as possible.

“A frank exchange of views was held in connection with the announced intention of the Finnish leadership to apply for NATO membership,” the Kremlin said.

During the conversation, the Russian leader stressed that abandoning Finland’s traditional policy of military neutrality would be erroneous, since there are no threats to Finland’s security. In addition, a change in the country’s foreign policy may have a negative impact on bilateral relations.

The presidents also discussed the situation in Ukraine, Putin shared his assessments of the state of the negotiation process, the Kremlin added.

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