By H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times
December 26, 2021
MOSCOW — NATO’s efforts to invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance has not been ignored by Russia, which has vowed to respond if the two nations join NATO.
“It’s fairly evident that Finland and Sweden joining NATO… would have severe military and political ramifications that would need a sufficient response from the Russian side,” she said.
According to Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, the neutrality of Sweden and Finland has always been “an vital aspect in keeping stability in northern Europe.”
At a June meeting, NATO pledged to strengthen ties with Sweden and Finland to support common security, crisis management planning, exercises, and information and analytic exchange.
Earlier this month, Moscow released two letters, one addressed to NATO and the other to Washington, requesting security guarantees for all parties. The recommendations included restricting NATO’s buildup along Russia’s borders and ruling out NATO expansion.
Zakharova stated that “ruling out NATO expansion and the deployment of military systems that endanger our security near Russian borders will be the primary, essential concerns at the future negotiations with the US and NATO.”