Spain warns Russia if it launches military intervention

Spain warns Russia if it launches military intervention

MADRID, Jan 26, Reuters - Russia would face massive economic consequences if it launched military intervention in Ukraine, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday.

Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine, but it denies plans to attack its neighbour. It wants to have sweeping security guarantees from NATO, including a pledge that Ukraine will never be allowed to join the alliance. The European Union and the United States have threatened further crippling economic sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine.

The message to Russia that military intervention would have massive and serious consequences for its economy from EU sanctions is important, Sanchez told a joint news conference with his Finnish counterpart.

He did not say what form the sanctions would take.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that her country had no immediate plans to join NATO, but Russians had no veto over any such decision.

We have the possibility of joining NATO in the future and it is important that we keep this possibility open to ourselves. She said it was her own decision.

Finland shares a 1,340 830 mile border with Russia and a difficult history that included clashes during World War Two.

Finland cooperates with the alliance and it has strengthened its military readiness as Moscow has increased its forces along the border with Ukraine, even though it is not a NATO member. Earlier this month, Marin told Reuters Finland would stand with its European Union partners and the United States by imposing tough new sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine.