Russian Security Council Vice President Dmitri Medvedev today threatened to deploy nuclear weapons in the Baltic if Sweden and Finland join NATO.
”It will be necessary to reinforce the group of ground forces, the anti-aircraft defense, deploy important naval forces in the waters of the Gulf of Finland. And in that case it will no longer be possible to speak of a Baltic without nuclear weapons. The balance must be restored”, wrote the high position in his Telegram account.
In addition, he added another threatening message: “We are going to trust that the wisdom of our northern neighbors prevails. And if not, as they say, they themselves have asked for it”.
Medvedev, former prime minister and president of Russia between 2008 and 2012, stressed that for Moscow “it is not so important how many countries there are in NATO, 30 or 32”, since “two more, two less, due to their weight and population, They don’t make much of a difference.”
But he stressed that if Sweden and Finland join NATO, the length of the land border between Russia and the Atlantic Alliance will double, so – he stressed – it will have to be strengthened. Finland has the longest border in the EU with Russia, at 1,340 kilometres. Sweden has no border with the country.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Medvedev indicated that it makes no sense to think that the “special military operation” (what the Kremlin calls the invasion) in Ukraine is to blame for Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
“This is not like this. Firstly, there were already attempts to drag them into NATO before, and secondly, what is important, we do not have territorial disputes, like with Ukraine, with those countries, ”he added.
The former Russian president indicated that public opinion in Sweden and Finland is almost evenly divided on the need to join NATO.
”No one sensible wants prices and taxes to rise; let the tension rise along the borders, let there be Iskander (missiles), hypersonic (weapons) and nuclear-armed ships literally a stone’s throw from your house,” he added.
Moscow has warned that the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO would not contribute to stability in Europe. Officials said Russia would respond with retaliation that would have “military and political consequences” for Helsinki and Stockholm. One of the reasons given by Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine is that kyiv refused to promise not to join NATO.
The position of Sweden and Finland
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told a news conference in Stockholm on Wednesday with her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson that Finland is ready to make a decision on NATO “within weeks” after a lengthy debate in the legislature.
Marin stressed that the two Nordic countries, which have close economic, political and military relations, will make independent decisions on their security and NATO membership.
“But we do so with a clear understanding that our decisions will affect not only us but also our neighbors,” Marin said, adding that he would like to see both join NATO.
Andersson said that Sweden and Finland will have “a very close dialogue, with very frank and honest discussions” in the coming weeks about their respective decisions.
(with information from EFE)
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