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Russian official: Moscow will not sit idly by and watch Sweden and Finland enter NATO

Russian officials: Moscow will not sit idly by and watch Sweden and Finland enter NATO - Photo 1.

Senator Mitch McConnell (left) during a meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Finland on May 16 – Photo: REUTERS

In a statement on May 16, the Republican leader in the US Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell said that the US Congress will seek to approve the application to join. NATO of Finland before next August.

According to McConnell, both Democrats and Republicans support the admission of Finland. For Republicans, keeping the US aligned with military alliances is the dominant position at the moment.

McConnell’s statement did not mention Sweden, which is expected to officially announce its intention to join NATO late on May 16 after a debate in parliament. Finland had previously announced this intention, sparking protests from Russia.

The leaders of both countries believe that joining NATO will help strengthen national security. According to observers, the abandonment of neutrality by Finland and Sweden stemmed from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In an interview with Interfax news agency on May 16, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the decisions of Finland and Sweden a “mistake with great consequences”.

“The reality is that the security of Finland and Sweden will not be enhanced,” Ryabkov said, adding that tensions in Europe will increase in the near future.

“Finland and Sweden should not be under the illusion that Russia will simply sit and endure such a scenario,” warned the Russian diplomat.

According to the newspaper Washington Postthe entry of two Scandinavian countries into NATO would destroy the balance of power in Europe and could lead to dire scenarios.

The process of ratifying these two countries can take at least 6 months to 1 year and that is a period of potential risks for the security of these countries.

There is little indication of what Russia will do in response to NATO expansion in northern Europe. According to Reuters news agency, one of the close allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that Russia could deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in Kaliningrad province if Finland and Sweden join NATO.

Kaliningrad province is located separately from the main territory of Russia, bordering the Baltic Sea and between Latvia and Poland – two other NATO countries.

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