“The picture will change radically.” The Russian Foreign Ministry promised to respond to the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO

“It is clear that this change cannot remain without a political reaction, as well as without a very thorough analysis of the consequences of the new configuration of forces that may be formed as a result of the next expansion of the alliance. It is clear that the decision will not be made on emotions, it will be a thorough and verified analysis of all the factors that affect the security situation in this region,” the diplomat said.

Grushko also noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry believes that the entry of Finland and Sweden into the alliance meets “neither the interests of maintaining European security and stability, nor the interests of regional stability.” According to the diplomat, this step will only lead “to the militarization of the North, which militarily was until recently the most peaceful zone in Europe, where the emphasis was on cooperation rather than competitiveness in the military sphere.” “Now the picture will change radically,” added the Deputy Foreign Minister.

According to him, after the membership of Finland and Sweden in NATO is formalized, the border between the alliance and Russia will increase by about 1,300 km. “NATO countries will immediately declare that the northern flank is very vulnerable. <...> This border needs to be protected, so it is necessary to place additional contingents of forces there, and so on,” Alexander Grushko believes.

At the same time, the diplomat stressed that Russia has no hostile intentions towards the countries of Northern Europe, and the potential increase in the presence of NATO on the northern borders “fits into the notorious search for an enemy”, which is expressed “in the demonization of Russia.”

The Deputy Foreign Minister also admitted that after joining the North Atlantic Alliance, Finland and Switzerland could actually abandon their non-nuclear status.

“It is well known that Finland and Sweden were among those states that most actively advocated the prohibition and destruction of nuclear weapons in the world. But the alliance declared itself nuclear, declared that it would remain nuclear as long as there were nuclear weapons in the world. These countries will participate in the NATO nuclear planning group,” Grushko suggested.

At the same time, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that it was too early to talk about the deployment of nuclear weapons by Russia in the Baltic region.

  • Earlier, the Swedish newspaper Expressen, citing its sources in the government wrotethat Stockholm could apply for NATO membership as early as May 16th. Three days earlier, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekko Haavisto said that Helsinki would submit it at the end of the month if parliament approves this intention. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin also supported the country’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance.

  • Speaking about plans to join NATO, the heads of government of Sweden and Finland stressedthat Russia’s special operation in Ukraine “changed the entire security landscape in Europe” and “radically changed people’s minds” in Scandinavia. Opinion polls show that in Finland the idea of ​​membership in the alliance is supported by about 75% of citizens, in Sweden – by about 60%.

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