Dmitry Medvedev, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has warned that if Sweden and Finland become members of the Western military alliance NATO, they will be able to strengthen security in the region, including the deployment of nuclear weapons. The news agency Reuters reported on Thursday (April 14).
Finland shares a 1300 km long border with Russia. Sweden, one of the world’s most peaceful nations, is currently considering joining the US-led NATO alliance. A decision will be made in the next few weeks, said Finnish Prime Minister Sanaa Marin.
Russia considers NATO’s presence in the border countries a constant threat. This is one of the reasons why they invaded Ukraine. Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, has warned that two more neighbors will join NATO.
He said that if Sweden and Finland join NATO, Russia will have to strengthen its land, naval and air forces in the Baltic Sea region.
A close aide to Putin also warned of a possible nuclear attack. Medvedev said that if that happened, there would be no more talks on a “nuclear-free” Baltic, and that the balance would have to be restored.
He says Russia has never taken such action, and neither has Nitto. If we are forced to … remember, we did not make this offer.
However, neighboring Lithuania says Russia’s threat is nothing new, and that Moscow has deployed nuclear weapons in the Kaliningrad enclave long before the Ukraine war.
NATO was established in 1949 to consolidate Western military power against the former Soviet Union. The inclusion of Finland and Sweden in the alliance could be Europe’s biggest strategic move in the aftermath of the Ukraine war.
Finland gained independence from Russia in 1918. During World War II, they fought twice more, losing some territory to Russia. Sweden is much more peaceful than that. They have not fought a war in the last 200 years. Rather, their foreign policy speaks in favor of democracy, multilateral negotiations and nuclear disarmament.