Swedish FM dismisses Russian warnings against joining NATO
HELSINKI — Sweden’s foreign minister is dismissing fresh warnings from Russia that the Nordic country’s joining NATO would lead to retaliatory measures from Moscow.
Foreign Minister Ann Linde tells Swedish news agency TT that “Russia has nothing to do with our independent decisions,” referring to Stockholm’s possible move to join NATO.
Russia’s Interfax news agency today quoted a Russian Foreign Ministry official saying the possible accession of Sweden and neighboring Finland to NATO would have serious military and political consequences.
Sergei Belyayev, the head of department for Nordic countries at the Russian Foreign Ministry, said such a situation would require Russia to take “retaliatory measures,” but didn’t specify what those measures could include.
He accused some NATO members, particularly the United States, of deliberately trying to drag the the two non-aligned Nordic countries into the military bloc.
Moscow has repeatedly warned both Finland and Sweden that their possible joining NATO would be seen as a hostile act from Moscow. Both countries have brushed off those warnings.
Since the start of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, polls in both Finland and Sweden have shown a substantially increased support for NATO membership.