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Tags: russia | nuclear | nato | finland

Russia Threatens to Deploy Nuclear Weapons If Sweden, Finland Join NATO

Russia Threatens to Deploy Nuclear Weapons If Sweden, Finland Join NATO
Russian Security Council Deputy Chair Dmitry Medvedev speaks during a meeting with members of the Security Council in Moscow on Feb. 21, 2022. (ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 14 April 2022 09:57 AM

Russia is warning that Finland and Sweden joining NATO would mean new deployments of nuclear weapons to the Baltic Sea region.

The warning came in a Thursday posting on Telegram from Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Kremlin’s Security Council, who is also the former president of Russia.

"If Sweden and Finland join NATO, the length of the land borders of the alliance with the Russian Federation will more than double," Medvedev said. "Naturally, these boundaries will have to be strengthened. Seriously strengthen the grouping of ground forces and air defense, deploy significant naval forces in the waters of the Gulf of Finland. 

"In this case, it will no longer be possible to talk about any non-nuclear status of the Baltic — the balance must be restored.

"It makes no sense to argue that if it were not for the special operation in Ukraine, then the question of these countries joining NATO would not have arisen at all and the situation would have been easier for Russia. This is not true."

The Associated Press reported that Finland and Sweden reached key stages Wednesday on their way to possible NATO membership. According to the AP Finnish government issued a security report to lawmakers and Sweden’s ruling party initiated a review of security policy options.

Russia's war against Ukraine sparked an increase in support for joining NATO in the two traditionally militarily non-aligned Nordic countries, the AP noted.

Polls show a majority of respondents willing to join NATO in Finland and supporters of the alliance in Sweden outnumber those against the idea, the news service said.

The Russian nuclear threat was dismissed by Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas, who claimed that Russia already has nuclear weapons in the Baltic region.

Lithuania shares a border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, CNBC noted.

"Nuclear weapons have always been kept in Kaliningrad ... the international community, the countries in the region, are perfectly aware of this ... they use it as a threat," Anusauskas was quoted by Lithuania's BNS news wire as saying, according to CNBC.

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Russia is warning that Finland and Sweden joining NATO would mean new deployments of nuclear weapons to the Baltic Sea region.
russia, nuclear, nato, finland
343
2022-57-14
Thursday, 14 April 2022 09:57 AM
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