On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybkov ruled that Sweden and Finland’s nominations for NATO were a “grave error” in response to the Russian offensive against Ukraine.
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The Russian company Interfax was quoted as saying, “This is a serious additional error and the consequences could be far-reaching.”
According to him, Russia’s response depends on the “practical effects of the merger” of the two Scandinavian countries in the Atlantic Alliance.
“For us, it is clear that the security of Sweden and Finland will not be strengthened by this decision,” he stressed, adding that “the level of military tension will (increase) increase.”
Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats gave the green light to a NATO initiative on Sunday, after Finland’s executive Moscow expressed interest in joining a Western organization that it sees as an existential threat.
For Helsinki and Stockholm, two non-aligned countries even at the height of the Cold War, this reversal was the result of a Russian offensive against Ukraine, and Moscow was perceived as a threat by its neighbors.
Finland in particular shares about 1300 km of borders with Russia.
Moscow, among other reasons, justified its attack on Ukraine with its good relations with NATO and its political, diplomatic and military support in Kiev. Russian authorities wanted to push the West out of its borders.
Coalition countries are also supplying a large number of weapons to Ukrainian forces, which have been fighting the Russian military for nearly three months.