Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia does not see a “problem” with Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
“We do not have problems with Sweden and Finland, like those we have with Ukraine,” Putin said at a press conference in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.
“We do not have territorial disputes (…), there is nothing that can bother us from the point of view of the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO,” the Kremlin master emphasized.
“If Finland and Sweden want it, let them join. It is their job, they can join wherever they want.”
But Vladimir Putin warned that “in the event that military units and military infrastructure are deployed there, we will have to respond symmetrically and create the same threats to the territory from which the threats to us originate.”
The accession process of Sweden and Finland, which decided to join the alliance in response to the Russian offensive in Ukraine that has been underway since February 24, officially began on Wednesday at the NATO summit in Madrid.
Russia has so far denounced the aspirations of the two Scandinavian countries, considering them in particular a “destabilizing factor” in international affairs and security.
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