A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Sweden and Finland. On Thursday, he said Russia would have to strengthen its defenses in the region if the two countries joined the US-led military alliance, NATO. It will also include the deployment of nuclear weapons. The British news agency Reuters reported.
Putin’s ally Dmitry Medvedev is now the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council. He served as President of Russia from 2008-2012. He was the Prime Minister of Russia from 2012 to 2020.
Finland and Sweden, which share a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia, are considering joining the NATO alliance. A decision will be made in the next few weeks, Finnish Prime Minister Sanaa Marin said on Wednesday
Dmitry Medvedev says Russia will have to strengthen its land, naval and air defenses in the Baltic region if Sweden and Finland join NATO.
Medvedev also raised the issue of the nuclear threat. He says there will be no more talk of a nuclear-free Baltic.
Russia has an enclave in the Baltic region. The enclave, called Kaliningrad, is located between Poland and Lithuania.
Medvedev said there would be further talks on keeping the Baltic region free of nuclear weapons. The balance must be maintained. So far Russia has not taken any such step. But if we are forced to then remember we did not want it.
Lithuania says Russia’s threat is nothing new. Moscow has deployed nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad long before the Ukraine war.
Joining the NATO alliance of Finland and Sweden would be a major European strategic shift in the event of a war in Ukraine. The NATO alliance was formed in 1949 to take concerted military action against the Soviet Union.
Finland gained independence from Russia in 1918. So far the country has fought two wars with Russia. Finland lost territory to Moscow in two wars during World War II. Finland announced on Thursday that it would hold a military exercise in the western part of the country. The armies of Britain, the United States, Latvia and Estonia will participate.