Finland, Sweden joining NATO a mistake that would…, warns RussiaAuthor: Yuvi May 16, 2022
New Delhi: Russia said on Monday that the West should have no illusions that Moscow will simply put up with the Nordic expansion of the US-led NATO military alliance to include Sweden and Finland, casting the move as a mistake that would stoke military tension.
Vladimir Putin, Russia`s paramount leader since the last day of 1999, has repeatedly cited the post-Soviet enlargement of the NATO alliance eastwards towards Russia`s borders as a reason for the invasion of Ukraine.
The war, though, has fomented one of the biggest changes to Europe`s security architecture for decades: once unthinkable moves by Sweden and Finland, which shares a 1,300 km (800 mile) border with Russia, to join the military alliance.
“They should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it – and nor should Brussels, Washington and other NATO capitals,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the state RIA news agency.
Ryabkov, who led talks with the United States on a doomed Russian proposal to halt NATO`s eastward expansion, said the decisions by Helsinki and Stockholm to join the alliance were a mistake.
“The general level of military tension will rise, predictability in this sphere will decrease. It is a shame that common sense is being sacrificed to some phantom provision about what should be done in this unfolding situation,” Ryabkov said.
Russia has given few clues about what it will do in response to the Nordic enlargement of NATO, saying merely that there would be a “military-technical response”.
One of Putin`s closest allies said last month that Russia could deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad if Finland and Sweden joined NATO.
The accession of Finland and Sweden into NATO – founded in 1949 to provide European security against the Soviet Union – would be one of the biggest strategic consequences of Russia`s invasion of Ukraine to date.
Kremlin and Dmitry Peskov said such an enlargement of NATO would not strengthen the security of Europe.