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Andrei Illarionov: Putin's goals are Belarus, Baltic states and Finland  ? 48

12:34, — Politics

Andrei Illarionov: Putin's goals are Belarus, Baltic states and Finland

Vladimir Putin won't stop trying to expand Russia.

He won't calm down until he has conquered Belarus, the Baltic states and Finland, The Independent writes. Andrei Illarionov said it in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, journalist Adam Withnall writes.

According to a former adviser of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin wants to create historical justice with a return to the days of Nicholas II and Stalin.

Finland is not a Nato member, meaning a Russian invasion would not be considered an attack against the alliance. The commander of the Finnish air force has said it has increased surveillance operations over the Baltic Sea in recent weeks, the newspaper writes.

Asked if Putin posed an immediate threat to Finland, Illarionov said: It is not on Putin's agenda today or tomorrow. But if Putin is not stopped, the issue will be brought sooner or later. Putin has said several times that the Bolsheviks and Communists made big mistakes. He could well say that the Bolsheviks in 1917 committed treason against Russian national interests by granting Finland's independence.

How to stop Russian expansion? Illarionov said sanctions had helped Putin and added: The only answer to pure aggression is demonstrating willingness to offer a collective defence.

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