If Finland and Sweden join NATO, they will be “targets” for Moscow, the Russian ambassador to Stockholm threatened. According to Ambassador Viktor Tatarintsev, “the total length of the borders between Russia and NATO will almost double” as a result of their membership.
Rest assured that the new members of the hostile bloc will become a legitimate target for Russian retaliatory measures, including those of a military nature if anyone still believes that this will somehow improve Europe‘s security, he continued.
The hope of the Swedish Government
After the Nordic countries filed applications to join the western military alliance in May of last year, following the start of the war in Ukraine, Russia repeatedly threatened them. Although the two countries had been closely allied with NATO for more than 20 years, neither officially belonged to the military alliance, and public opinion was strongly against joining.
As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, public opinion changed dramatically in favor of NATO membership. According to polls, support for joining NATO once exceeded 80% in Finland, which shares a border with Russia of 1,300 km, and was close to two-thirds in Sweden.
- If Finland and Sweden join NATO, they will be “targets” for Moscow.
- A nation can join NATO as a full member only after having its application ratified by all 30 members.
- The Swedish government is still hoping to join before the July NATO meeting in Lithuania.
A nation can join NATO as a full member only after having its application ratified by all 30 members. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pledge to approve Turkey’s application to join NATO is currently being awaited by Finland.
The only other nation to take its time to ratify was Hungary, which did so on Wednesday and is scheduled to deliver its ratification document to the US on Friday. Sweden’s eligibility is still up for debate. Hungary is delaying ratification while Ankara is actively preventing entry.
Both nations are thought to be biding their time to gain political concessions from Stockholm and, in Hungary’s case, the EU, while Turkey also aspires to use the US to gain advantageous access to military projects.
The Swedish government is still hoping to join before the July NATO meeting in Lithuania. Swedish membership would be “a step into the abyss,” according to the Russian ambassador in Stockholm, who was born in Kherson in contemporary Ukraine.
He criticized the NATO command for making a “hasty” decision without consulting the country, saying it had “decided to enter fully into the conflict,” putting Sweden at risk.
According to Tatarintsev, “the Swedes will undoubtedly be enticed to join us and sent to their deaths for the sake of others.”