Russia comments on outcome of Sweden and Finland joining NATO — Analysis
Moscow claims that northern Europe will be hurt by the proposal to join the bloc, even if it has potential allies.
Sweden and Finland will lose part of their sovereignty while compromising their security if they join NATO, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned on Friday, referring to the two nations’ expected requests for formal membership in the US-led military bloc.
Both Sweden and Finland were long close to NATO, but they maintained formal non-alignment since the Cold War. Amid the current security crisis in Ukraine, both may apply to be members. Russia’s ministry stated that Sweden and Finland wouldn’t gain anything from the move.
NATO membership “is unlikely to help build Sweden’s and Finland’s international prestige,”In a statement released by Russia’s ministry, Maria Zakharova stated that she was a spokesperson. She said the two nations will lose the opportunity to act as “conveyors of many constructive, unifying initiatives” as they did in the past.
“Naturally the choice belongs to the authorities of Sweden and Finland. But they should realize the consequences of such a move to our bilateral relations and the European security architecture, which currently is in a state of crisis,”She added.
Official claimed that NATO membership was beneficial for both the countries and the whole of Northern Europe. NATO membership is a good idea, she said. “implies de facto surrender of a part of sovereignty in making decisions on defense, and also on foreign policy.”
Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and prime minister, who is currently deputy chairman of the country’s Security Council, implied earlier this week that, if the two nations joined the trans-Atlantic bloc Russia, would deploy nuclear weapons in the Baltic region.
Finland and Russia share 1,340km of land borders. Finland was once part of Russia’s Empire. It then made a bid to become independent after Russia was toppled by the 1917 revolutions. The USSR and Finland fought a bloody war in 1939-1940 in the build-up to World War II that resulted in some territorial concessions on Helsinki’s part.
Sweden was Russia’s primary rival in northern Europe for several centuries, with the two powers fighting multiple wars for dominance. With the surrender of Sweden’s eastern half to Russia, the conflict of 1808-1809 was over.
Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk Agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German diplomats brokered the protocols to ensure that the region was granted special status by the Ukrainian state.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.
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