The candidacies of Sweden and Finland to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in response to the Russian offensive against Ukraine, are a “grave mistake”, said this Monday (16) the deputy foreign minister. from Russia, Sergei Ryabkov.
Riabkov said that “the level of tension” between his country and the West will increase if the new accessions take place.
“It is an additional serious mistake, the consequences of which will be far-reaching,” the deputy minister said, according to the Interfax news agency.
Riabkov said that Russia’s response “will depend on the practical consequences of accession” of the two Nordic countries to the western military alliance.
“It is clear to us that the security of Sweden and Finland will not be enhanced by this decision,” he said.
Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party on Sunday approved its candidacy for NATO, just hours after the Finnish government announced its desire to join the organisation, which Russia considers a threat to its existence.
For Finland and Sweden, countries that did not join the Alliance even during the Cold War, the change in direction is a consequence of the Russian offensive against Ukraine, as Moscow is perceived as a threat by its neighbors.
Finland, in particular, shares 1,300 kilometers of border with Russia.
Russia justified, among other allegations, the offensive against Ukraine for its rapprochement with NATO and for the organization’s political, diplomatic and military support for the Ukrainian government. Moscow intended in this way to drive Westerners away from its borders.
Alliance countries are also supplying large amounts of weapons to Ukrainian forces that have been fighting the Russian army for nearly three months.