Stockholm and Helsinki, which previously adhered to a policy of military neutrality, officially announced their intention to become members of NATO on 15 May. The day before, President Vladimir Putin said that he did not see this as a threat
The United States forced Sweden and Finland to join NATO, and this “frees hands” Russia to respond. This was stated by the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, speaking on the air of the Soloviev Live program.
“Washington, under pressure, forcing these countries, which have pursued a neutral policy of not joining military blocs for many decades, forcing them to change its strategic direction and course, untied our hands,»,— said Zakharova.
“It is not their [Finland and Sweden] peoples who are actually doing this, but their political forces,”— she added.
The two Scandinavian countries officially announced on May 15 their intention to join NATO, although they had previously adhered to neutrality, explaining that they see a threat from Russia. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that the policy of neutrality will be useful in the future.
Commenting on the decision of Sweden and Finland, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia has no problems with these countries, but the expansion of military infrastructure in these territories “will cause a backlash.” According to Putin, NATO is expanding “completely artificially in the foreign policy interests of the United States.” The President also emphasized that the actions of the Scandinavian states could aggravate “an already difficult situation in the field of international security.”
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