Putin Reacts to Sweden and Finland Joining NATO
Russian President Putin has accused NATO of “imperial ambitions” because of the planned expansion. Although he has “no issues” with the accession of Sweden and Finland per se, the Kremlin boss also issued a warning.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Sweden and Finland against stationing NATO troops and alliance military infrastructure on their territory. If the northern European countries decide to take such a step, Russia will react accordingly. His country will “create the same threats to the territory from which threats are created against us.” But Putin also told journalists in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabad that Russia had “no problem” with the planned NATO accession of Finland and Sweden. “We don’t have problems with Sweden and Finland as with Ukraine.” There are no “territorial differences” between the two countries. However, should “military contingents and military infrastructure be deployed” in the states, Russia would be forced to respond in kind, Putin added.
On Wednesday, NATO officially extended an invitation to join Sweden and Finland, which want to give up their long-standing neutral status in the wake of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the Ukraine war had “brought about the biggest reform of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War.” Putin then accused NATO of “imperial ambitions”. The military alliance is trying to assert its “supremacy” through the Ukraine conflict: “Ukraine and the well-being of the Ukrainian people are not the goals of the collective West and NATO, but a means of defending their own interests.”
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