Moscow has warned that if Sweden joins NATO they will be a “legitimate target for Russian retaliatory measures.”
The Swedish application to join NATO is in process and the Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said the Russian ambassador is to be summoned to complain about an “attempt at interference” of them joining the alliance.
Stockholm are seeking membership to join NATO with Finland and hope to complete this year.
In a statement the Russian ambassador warned in a statement, joining NATO will make the two Nordic countries “a legitimate target for Russian retaliatory measures, including those of a military.
Vladimir Putin and his regime have continually warned the two Nordic countries not to join which is a “kick in the gut” for Moscow.
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Sweden and Finland have been neutral for decades but following the invasion of Ukraine the Nordic countries have been concerned over their own security.
Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit think tank that specializes in foreign policy and international relations said, “It’s a defeat for him. It’s a kick in the gut.”
A Swedish organisation has warned that if Sweden and Finland join NATO then this could “increase the risk of war in the nation.”
Gabriella Irsten, from the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, told Sky News joining NATO is not “wise at all” and it will be a “big risk.”
Irsten added, the move will make the country “more unsafe” which will “hinder Sweden’s history and role in pushing for peace and disarmament.”
She warned, “We feel that joining NATO would be a step too far.
“We’re preparing for war and not trying to stop it. We still have a chance to stop Russia invading other countries like Finland and Sweden and instead of preparing for war we think we should hinder that.”
Moscow has continually warned that NATO has expanded too far eastwards and Russia fear this poses a national threat to their security.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Finland and Sweden “should not base their security on damaging the security of other countries.”
The Russian spokeswoman added, “Their accession to NATO can have detrimental consequences and face some military and political consequences.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry reiterated the grave threat on Twitter, she said, “We regard the Finnish government’s commitment to a military non-alignment policy as an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe.”