Dmitry Medvedev, vice president of the Russian Security Council, threatened on Friday that Sweden and Finland would maintain nuclear weapons in the Baltic region if they joined NATO.
“It is necessary to strengthen the ground force, anti-aircraft defense, and to deploy vital naval forces in the waters of the Gulf of Finland. If so, we can no longer talk about the Baltic without nuclear weapons..
Medvedev, Russia’s former prime minister and president between 2008 and 2012, told Moscow that “how many countries are in NATO, 30 or 32 is not so important” because “two, less than two, in their weight and population, they do not make a big difference.”
But if Sweden and Finland join NATO, the length of the land border between Russia and the Atlantic Alliance will double, so – he insisted – it must be strengthened.
Medvedev pointed out that it did not make sense to think that Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine was the reason for Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
“It simply came to our notice then. First, there were already attempts to lure them to NATO, and secondly, the important thing is that, like Ukraine, we do not have regional conflicts with those countries, ”he added.
The former Russian president pointed out that public opinion in Sweden and Finland on the need to join NATO is almost equally divided.
“No sensible person wants prices and taxes to rise; Tensions are high at the border, and Iskander (missiles), hypersonic (weapons) and nuclear ships are within stone’s throw from your home, ”he added.
“We are going to believe that the goodwill of our northern neighbors will prevail. If not, as they say, they have heard it themselves,” he said succinctly.
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