Russia threatened to deploy nuclear weapons in and across the Baltic Sea area if Finland and Sweden join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as tensions fueled by President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine unfold.
“In this case, there can be no talk of non-nuclear status for the Baltic,” Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chief of Russia’s Security Council and former president, mentioned in a Telegram publish Thursday, suggesting Russia could deploy Iskander missiles, hypersonic weapons and nuclear-armed ships within the area.
Medvedev’s feedback are among the many most detailed threats Russia has issued over the prospect that its northwestern neighbors may join the alliance after many years of staying out. But each Finland and Sweden this week mentioned they’re stepping up consideration of the problem within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The threats had been empty as a result of Russia already retains nuclear weapons in its exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas instructed the BNS information service Thursday.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to touch upon the chance nuclear weapons is likely to be deployed within the Baltic area however mentioned that Putin has already ordered the army to arrange plans for reinforcing defenses alongside Russia’s western frontiers.
Medvedev mentioned he hoped that “reason” would prevail and the international locations would resolve to not join the alliance.
Russia’s border with Finland runs for over 1,300 kilometers (800 miles), which greater than the entire size of its frontier with present NATO members. If the international locations join the alliance, “we will need to seriously strengthen our land forces and anti-aircraft and deploy substantial naval forces in the Gulf of Finland basin,” Medvedev mentioned.
Though the initiatives to think about NATO membership picked up in each international locations solely after the invasion, Medvedev mentioned Russia’s transfer wasn’t guilty. At the identical time, he prompt that whereas maintaining Ukraine out of the western alliance was a key aim of Russia’s operation there, the Kremlin sees the state of affairs with Finland and Sweden area in a different way.
“We don’t have territorial disputes with those countries like we do with Ukraine,” he mentioned. “For that reason, the price of their membership for us is different.”