Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO would have serious military, political consequences - Russian Foreign Ministry
MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) - Finland and Sweden's possible accession to NATO would have serious military and political consequences and require Russia to take retaliatory measures, Russian Foreign Ministry Second European Department Director Sergei Belyayev said.
"It is obvious that Finland and Sweden's joining NATO, which is a military organization in the first place, would have serious military and political consequences requiring use to revise the entire range of relations with these countries and take retaliatory measures," Belyayev said in an interview with Interfax.
It is too early to talk about the specific nature of those measures, he said.
Moscow considers Finland and Sweden's traditional policy of non-involvement in military blocs entrenched in the program documents of these countries' governments as "an important factor of ensuring security and stability in the north of Europe and the European continent in general," he said.
"But we cannot ignore the growing intensity of Helsinki and Stockholm's practical interaction with NATO, including participation in military exercises of the alliance, the provision by Finland and Sweden of its territory for such maneuvers conducted in close proximity of the Russian borders, including the United States' imitation of attacks using nuclear weapons against the so-called 'comparable enemy,'" Belyayev said.
Certain NATO countries, firstly the United States, make deliberate effort to draw these two countries into NATO, including by propaganda influence on public opinion, he said.
"While evaluating the discussion about relations with NATO ongoing in Finland and Sweden one must pay attention to statements of the authorities of the countries and opinions of military experts, rather than hysterics in media outlets. And they are of the same opinion that there was no and there is no direct military threat to Finland and Sweden," the diplomat said.
Helsinki and Stockholm are now well aware "why the U.S. and NATO need Finns and Swedes in the alliance," he said.