Russia warns of negative consequences of Swedish NATO membership

Russia is warning of the consequences of Sweden's imminent accession to NATO. Sweden's membership would have a negative impact on stability in northern Europe and the Baltic Sea, the Russian embassy in Stockholm said on Wednesday.

The Hungarian parliament ratified Sweden's accession on Monday, securing its NATO membership. Sweden refused to join the organisation when it was founded in 1949, opting instead for a policy of neutrality, but Russia's invasion of Ukraine prompted the country, along with Finland, to apply for membership in May 2022.

In response to the ratification, the Russian embassy in Sweden warned that Russia would take retaliatory measures of a political and military nature to avert threats to national security. The extent of these measures will depend on the extent of Sweden's integration into NATO, such as the possible stationing of NATO troops and weapons in Sweden, the embassy said.

Controversial ambassador

Last year, the Russian ambassador to Sweden caused controversy when he said that NATO membership would make Sweden and Finland "a legitimate target for Russian retaliatory measures, including those of a military nature". He was summoned by the Swedish Foreign ministry for "attempting to interfere" in Sweden's NATO application process.

On Tuesday, Russia also commented on French president Emmanuel Macron's statement that he would not rule out sending NATO troops to Ukraine. If that happened, a conflict between Russia and the West would become an "inevitability", Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.



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