Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia will be responding in kind to any deployment of troops or infrastructure by NATO in ether Finland or Sweden after the two countries became the newest members of the alliance. “With Sweden and Finland, we don’t have the problems that we have with Ukraine.
They want to join NATO, go ahead,” Putin told Russian state television. “But they must understand there was no threat before, while now, if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed there, we will have to respond in kind and create the same threats for the territories from which threats towards us are created,” he added according to Reuters.
Finland and Sweden were invited to become members of the NATO alliance on Wednesday after Türkiye decided to end their opposition following a meeting at the NATO summit in Madrid.
The decision is expected to create tensions between the two nations and Russia.
“Everything was fine between us, but now there might be some tensions, there certainly will. It’s inevitable if there is a threat to us,” Putin said when asked about the new NATO members.
The NATO membership bids by Sweden and Finland were seen as a direct result of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The “special military operations” sparked fear in Baltic countries but Putin maintained that the goal was to “liberate” and safeguard Russian interests in the region.