Sweden and Finland, which previously adhered to the policy of military neutrality, officially announced their intention to become members of NATO on May 15, 2022, explaining that they see a threat from Russia.
The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, speaking on the air of the “Solovyov Live” programme, said that the US forced Sweden and Finland to join NATO, which gives Russia a free hand to perform retaliatory actions.
“Washington, under pressure, forcing these countries, which for many decades have pursued a neutral policy of non-entry into military blocs, forcing them to change their strategic orientation and course, has given us a free hand,” Zakharova said. “It’s not really their [Finnish and Swedish] peoples who are doing this, but their political forces.”
Commenting on the decision of Sweden and Finland, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said that Russia has no problems with these countries, but the expansion of military infrastructure in these territories “will provoke a response.” In his opinion, NATO is expanding “completely artificially in the foreign policy interests of the US,” and the actions of the Scandinavian states are capable of aggravating “the already difficult situation in the field of international security.”