The Kremlin has indirectly threatened to deploy nuclear weapons in the Baltic region if NATO continues to expand. If Sweden and Finland join, the Baltic Sea region without nuclear weapons is impossible, said Russian Deputy Security Council President Dmitry Medvedev.
Sweden has already applied to join NATO, Finland will make a decision in the coming weeks.
“Talking about the non-nuclear status of the Baltic Sea is then meaningless – a balance must be established,” Medvedev said. It is unclear what exactly Moscow’s words mean.
The Kremlin seems to be suggesting that nuclear weapons are deployed in the area. Moscow is also threatening to send more troops to the region if two ‘neighboring countries’ join a military alliance. Medvedev said his country has so far shunned “such measures”.
Neutral from the beginning
The two Scandinavian countries have remained neutral since the beginning of the alliance. Russia sees NATO expansion as a threat to its own security.
On the other hand, Sweden and Finland feel threatened by Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine. “This is an important moment in history: there is one before and one after the invasion,” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said yesterday.
The two countries have been cooperating closely with NATO for years. Since the end of February, they have been joining NATO’s urgent consultations on the war. If the two of them join the alliance, it will be a historic moment.