Sweden, Finland and NATO: Russia is concerned about the security situation

Status: 05/17/2022 1:31 p.m.

From the point of view of the Russian leaders, joining Finland and Sweden in NATO would be a serious mistake. Moscow warns that this will not remain without consequences. But what could they look like?

By Christina Nagel, ARD Studio Moscow

Over the past few days, political leaders have repeatedly made it clear that Russia will react to Finland and Sweden joining NATO. But how – it remains open.

Christine Nagel

Russia, said President Vladimir Putin, has no problems with either Sweden or Finland. That is why the admission of the two countries to NATO, with which they would already be working anyway, would not constitute a direct threat. But, added the president, “If the military infrastructure extends to these territories, we will react. It will depend on the threats we face.”

Moscow recognizes new security risks

According to the Kremlin, quite unnecessarily, the abandonment of neutrality between the two countries would create new security risks. Tensions would be artificially heightened. In particular by the United States, which would have made NATO their tool of foreign policy. According to Putin, this is done “quite consistently, skillfully and very aggressively”.

The geostrategic balance would clearly change as a result of the alliance’s northward expansion – not just with respect to the 1,300 kilometer Finnish-Russian border, which would become NATO’s border. But also with regard to the access of the Baltic fleet to the Baltic Sea, the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and access to the Arctic regions.

First instructions

President Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, has already called for more to be done to secure Russia’s western flank.

There are a number of possibilities: from modernizing Northern Fleet submarines to stationing troops and Iskander-type short-range missiles along the border.

Moscow: NATO expansion to the north does not contribute to security

Christina Nagel, ARD Moscow, May 17, 2022 1:04 p.m.

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