Russia on Monday stated the West shouldn’t have any “illusions” that the Kremlin will simply put up with the Nordic expansion of the US-led army alliance North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This comes a day after Russia’s neighbours Finland and Sweden stated they’ll formally submit purposes to hitch NATO.
“They should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it – and nor should Brussels, Washington and other NATO capitals,” Russian deputy overseas minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the state RIA information company.
Ryabkhov, who had led talks with the US on a doomed Russian proposal to halt NATO’s eastward expansion, added that Finland and Sweden’s choice to hitch the army alliance is “another grave mistake”.
The Russian deputy overseas minister stated it’s a “shame that common sense is being sacrificed to some phantom provision about what should be done in this unfolding situation”.
Ryabkhov’s statement comes as Russia continues to send warnings to the two nations over NATO membership. Russian President Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly cited the post-Soviet expansion of the NATO alliance in the east towards its borders as a reason for the invasion of Ukraine – the biggest war in an European nation since the Second World War.
Also Read | Explained: Why Finland wants to join NATO; why is Putin against it?
On Saturday, member of Russian Parliament’s lower house ‘Duma’ and an ally of Putin, Aleksey Zhuravlyov, launched a nuclear attack warning on Finland and the UK, saying it can turn the two countries into ashes in seconds. He reportedly told the state TV that Russia can hit Finland with a “Sarmat (also known as ‘Satan-2’ missile) from Siberia, and even reach the UK”.
“And if we strike from Kaliningrad…the hypersonic’s reaching time is 200 seconds – so go ahead, guys,” the Russian politician added.
Watch | ‘Can destroy…’: Kremlin’s chilling warning as Nordic nations affirm NATO bid
Putin not too long ago held a telephonic dialog along with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto throughout which the Russian president assured that “there are no threats” to Finland’s safety, at the same time as he warned of retaliatory steps by Moscow if Helsinki joins NATO.
Niinisto, nevertheless, stated that Russia’s calls for geared toward stopping nations from becoming a member of NATO coupled with its invading Ukraine have “altered the security environment of Finland”.
Keeping this cause in thoughts, Niinisto and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin on Sunday introduced their intent to hitch NATO – fully unfazed by the warnings by Putin and his authorities officers. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has additionally cited safety as the rationale behind the intent to hunt NATO membership.
Andersson’s choice could be seen as dramatic since her Social Democratic Party has opposed NATO membership because the inception of the army alliance, with she herself resisting it as not too long ago as March. However, the continuing struggle in Ukraine – which entered the third month in May, has modified the safety scenario in Europe. According to an AFP report, Swedish public assist for NATO membership has risen to just about 50 per cent within the aftermath of the Ukraine struggle.
The scenario is similar in Finland, with the AFP report revealing that the variety of Finns who need to be part of NATO has climbed to greater than three-quarters – virtually triple the extent earlier than the Ukraine struggle. Finland shares a 1,300-km border with Russia, whereas Sweden shares a maritime boundary with it.
(With inputs from Reuters, AFP)