NATO Accession of Sweden and Finland Would Lead to 'Adequate Response' From Russia

NATO flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.12.2021
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In the words of Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, while Moscow views the non-alignment of Finland and Sweden as an important factor in ensuring stability in Northern Europe, NATO is purposefully working to draw the both countries into its orbit through drills and military cooperation.
The accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, as both Nordic countries are increasingly participating in the alliance's drills, would require an adequate response from Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.
Furthermore, Zakharova called NATO a “primarily military structure”, which “certainly doesn't have a defence agenda as its cornerstone, but instead is simply engaged in aggressive activities”.
According to the diplomat, Russia has always emphasised that it stands for “collective efforts, negotiations, and indivisible security”, yet is ready to take adequate measures, if necessary.
Zakharova emphasised NATO's purposeful work to “draw the two countries into the orbit of its interests and opportunistic policies”, which include an “increased participation in NATO's large-scale military drills and using their territory for such manoeuvres”.

Lastly, the diplomat emphasised that Russia views the non-alignment of Finland and Sweden as an important factor in ensuring stability in Northern Europe, whereas the choice of a national defence strategy remains the sovereign affair of each state.
While historically non-aligned for decades, Finland and Sweden have in recent years been drifting towards the alliance.
Despite stopping short of downright NATO membership, the both nations have been forging closer cooperation with the alliance, including common military exercises, training activities, participation in the NATO Response Force, and, not least, the ratification and implementation of the Host Nation Support agreement which opens political and military opportunities for NATO to use the land, airspace and territorial waters of the both nations. During his autumn visit to Helsinki, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance's doors remained open.
NATO flag in the wind at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.12.2021
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Most recently, however, Sweden's newly appointed Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced that her country wouldn't seek NATO membership. She said that freedom from military alliances had “served Sweden well” and contributed to stability and security in Northern Europe.
Nevertheless, in both countries, there is a strong political sentiment in favour of NATO represented, among others, by the Moderates and the Liberals in Sweden and the National Coalition in Finland.
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