Putin and other Russian officials on several occasions warned Finland and Sweden, who had long been militarily neutral until their decision to apply for NATO membership, not to join forces with the Western security bloc upon threat of military action.
The despot later rolled back his comments in the wake of the Nordic countries’ formal application in May, telling pundits: ‘There is nothing that could bother us about Sweden and Finland joining NATO. They can join whatever they want,’ in a scrambling attempt to save face.
British troops and Chinook helicopters take part in ‘high-readiness’ exercise alongside US and Finnish forces as Finland moves closer to joining Nato
Some 700 troops took part in the four-day training event Exercise Vigilant Fox
They included 150 British Army and Royal Air Force personnel, the MoD reported
Vladimir Putin has previously warned Finland and Sweden to not join NATO
Last week he sent two deadly nuclear-capable bombers near their territories
The joint exercise comes after NATO signed an accession protocol with Finland to join the military alliance earlier this month, which began the ratification process for members.