02 July 2022,   17:50
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Russia warns Finland and Sweden joining NATO would be “grave mistake”

Russia has told Finland and Sweden that their decision to join the NATO military alliance is a serious mistake with far-reaching consequences and that they should not assume that Moscow will not respond, writes The Guardian.

The Finnish government on Sunday confirmed its intention to join NATO while Sweden’s ruling party agreed to drop its longstanding opposition to the idea, paving the way for a joint membership application within days.

The decisions by the two governments, both of which have remained neutral or non-aligned since the end of the World War II, herald a historic redrawing of Europe’s security map prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

“The situation is, of course, changing radically in light of what is happening. The fact that Finland and Sweden’s security will not be strengthened as a result of this is very clear to us”, - Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

He added that the two Nordic nations “should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it”, warning that the move was “another grave mistake with far-reaching consequences” and the “general level of military tension will increase”.

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