Russia's decision to invade Ukraine "showed that they are ready to attack an independent neighboring country," Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told CNN as he explained Finland's decision to apply for NATO membership, a US-led military alliance.
While he does not believe that Russia could attack Finland now or in the future, Niinistö said the divided political landscape of Europe and the world does not leave much room for the non-aligned.
While informing Russia of Finland's decision to apply for NATO membership, Niinistö said he was surprised at President Vladimir Putin's calm reaction.
"Actually, the surprise was that he took it so calmly," he told CNN. "But in security policy, especially talking with Russia, you have to keep in mind that what he said doesn't mean that you shouldn't be all the time quite well aware."
"But so far, it seems that there's no immediate problems coming," he added.
Niinistö also said that while he was "astonished" at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's comments, he is "not worried" about Turkey blocking Finland's membership into NATO.
"I believe that there will be a lot of discussion still and I'm not that worried about that," he told CNN.