May 24, 2022

Russia warns Finland and Sweden from seeking NATO membership

Russia has invaded Ukraine after President Joe Biden made feeble attempts to stop it with economic sanctions. Now the nation is emboldened and throwing its weight around.

A Russian official warned Finland and Sweden against joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Friday, TheBlaze reported. Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said they’d face “military and political consequences” for partnering with America and other allies in NATO.

“Finland and Sweden should not base their security on damaging the security of other countries and their accession to NATO can have detrimental consequences and face some military and political consequences,” Zakharova warned in a press conference, according to Fox News. The foreign ministry later doubled down on Twitter.

“We regard the Finnish government’s commitment to a military non-alignment policy as an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe,” the tweet said. “Finland’s accession to @NATO would have serious military and political repercussions.”

However, Finnish Ambassador Mikko Hautala said a relationship with NATO was “very important” to his country. “Partnership with the alliance is very important for us. While maintaining a strong national defense, we retain the opportunity to apply for membership,” he tweeted Friday. “It is the sovereign right of each nation to make decisions on its security policy.”

For its part, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had promised protection for its member nations. “This goes far beyond Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

“This is about how Russia is actually challenging, contesting core values for our security. Then warning that NATO should withdraw all forces and infrastructure from almost half of our members,” he added. Stoltenberg has already deployed NATO’s Response Force.

Biden has said that NATO would retaliate for aggression from Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, Putin seems to have the upper hand right now as his military advances into Ukraine while the administration sits on its haunches waiting for the sanctions to work.

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