Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the decision would be okay if his country had no military threats, as Sweden and Finland were planning to join NATO.
“Russia has no problem with these states when it comes to enlargement, so in this sense there is no imminent threat to Russia by (NATO) enlargement to include these countries,” Putin said. He told the leader of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of former Soviet nations. Reuters report.
“But the expansion of military infrastructure into this territory will certainly provoke our response … what will happen to that (response) — we see what threats will be created for us. Let’s do it. ”CSTO includes countries such as Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Putin’s unusually mild reaction to Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO is in stark contrast to his previous comments on the expansion of the alliance. In fact, he cites NATO’s eastern expansion as one of the main reasons for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to Putin, some guarantees were provided that NATO would not expand east towards Moscow when the Soviet Union collapsed. This is a battle between the alliance and the United States. In addition to NATO’s “endless expansion policy,” the military alliance was also blamed by Putin for reaching far beyond its Euro-Atlantic mission.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov commented on Monday that Finland and Sweden’s attempt to join NATO is “another serious mistake” with “widespread consequences.” The two countries should not think that Russia would simply put up with their choices, he added.
“And how to ensure security after this general NATO configuration change is another matter, in practice with the expected consequences of joining the Finland-Sweden alliance. It depends on whether or not it will be. There is no illusion that we will put up with it, “Ryabkov said. CNBC..
Meanwhile, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that Sweden and Finland are opposed to joining NATO.
At a press conference on May 16, Erdogan said, “First of all,” yes “to those who participate in NATO, a security agency that imposes sanctions on Turkey in the process, according to state media Anador News. I don’t say. ” He added that the two countries do not have to bother trying to send diplomats to shake his position.
Turkey, a founding member of NATO, opposes countries participating in an alleged containment of Kurds, which Ankara has named terrorists.
Sweden and Finland have also been accused of containing individuals associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) group and followers of Fetofuller Gulen, who were accused of coup attempts in 2016.