Russia has voiced concern over the prospect of Finland and Sweden joining NATO after they were prompted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russia's Permanent Representative to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, said Finland's membership in NATO would raise two specific territorial issues, according to a RU News 24 report.
"As for Finland, I immediately have a question on two aspects," the Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted Chizhov as saying, according to RU News 24.
He cited the self-governing Åland Islands, which lie in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland, and the canal, which runs for 27 miles to the city of Vyborg inside Russia.
Last week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reiterated that Russia would not accept Finland or Sweden joining NATO.
Finland shares an 807-mile border with Russia and gained independence from the nation in 1917.
Finland has been increasing its military budget amid fears that Russia will retaliate after its Nordic neighbor announced its wish to apply to join NATO. »