Moscow has warned Sweden and Finland with nuclear escalation as the “balance must be restored” should they go ahead and join NATO this summer.
Moscow has said that they will more than double the length of their military long the the 830 mile shared border.
Sweden announced on Wednesday that they could join NATO in June and Finland could follow joining the Alliance this year also.
Read more on Finland and Sweden:
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The Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and other party leaders have decided their “goal is for Sweden to join NATO in June this year,” the SVD outlet reported.
An official told The Times this week that discussions for both Finland and Sweden has been a “topic of conversation and multiple sessions” involving NATO leaders.
The deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, and the former Russian Prime Minster, Dmitry Medvedev, said Moscow will respond, if they join NATO.
“There can be no more talk of any nuclear-free status for the Baltic – the balance must be restored,” he said.
“Until today, Russia has not taken such measures and was not going to.”
Referring to the shared land borders, Medvedev said, “Naturally (they) will have to be strengthened.”
He added that Russia will “seriously strengthen the grouping of ground forces and air defence (and) deploy significant naval forces in the Gulf of Finland.”
Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said Moscow already has nuclear weapons in the region as Kaliningrad sit between Poland and Lithuania.
“The current Russian threats look quite strange when we know that, even without the present security situation, they keep the weapon 100 km from Lithuania’s border,” the Minister said.
“Nuclear weapons have always been kept in Kaliningrad. The international community, the countries in the region, are perfectly aware of this.
“They use it as a threat.”
Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Simonyte told reporters that when Russia “threatens” it is “nothing new” any more.
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