The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will make the Baltic Sea region a zone of rivalry, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko warned /42/756566855456426.jpg” alt=”The Foreign Ministry called the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO the saddest episode” />
The expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance by joining Finland and Sweden will lead to a deterioration in regional security and turn the Baltic region seas into the zone of military rivalry, said Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Alexander Grushko.
“The expansion of NATO, the entry of Finland and Sweden there” is, in my opinion, the saddest episode in the evolution of European security, “— said Grushko, speaking on the sidelines of the Valdai Club on July 1. He added that he did not understand the motives that led these two countries to join the alliance, and that they were essentially “turning into NATO's periphery.”
“If we follow the logic of the Madrid decisions, then after this accession is finalized, NATO will start talking about the fact that the biggest vulnerability— this is the Russian-Finnish border, which must be protected. This is 1300 km, so it is necessary to place troops, weapons and so on there. All this will lead to a deterioration in regional security, to significant threats to complicate the situation in the north,— continued the deputy minister. He noted that such a development of events will narrow the possibilities for peaceful cooperation, which, according to him, is now in great demand in this part of Europe and the world. “This will most seriously worsen the situation in the Baltic Sea region, which, as a result of NATO expansion, the military development of the territory of new members from the most militarily calm region, will turn into an arena, well, if not a military confrontation, then definitely a military rivalry,” — said Grushko.
He stressed that Russia has no territorial disputes with Finland and Sweden, but their accession to NATO— it is “a very significant shift.” “It will be a new military-political reality that will influence our military planning process. What we considered unimportant and insignificant remains in the past. Now we will deal with a situation where potentials can be placed along our borders and at a fairly shallow depth that will threaten the military security of Russia, — he said. He noted that Russia would take measures to ensure its own security.
Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO in mid-May amid the Russian military operation in Ukraine. However, Turkey has blocked the process of joining the two countries to the alliance. During a separate meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid, which took place from June 28 to 30, the three countries managed to reach a compromise, after which Ankara lifted its veto. Stockholm and Helsinki have officially received the status of countries invited to NATO. Now their entry will have to be approved by the parliaments of 30 countries— members of the military-political bloc.
President Vladimir Putin said earlier that the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO does not cause concern for Moscow. “We have nothing to worry about in terms of Finnish and Swedish membership in NATO. They want to [join NATO]— please. Only they should clearly and clearly imagine that before there were no threats to them, and now, if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed there, we will have to respond in a mirror manner and create the same threats for the territories from which threats are created to us, — he said following the results of the Caspian summit on June 29.
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