Russia: NATO Has Long Taken Finland And Sweden Into Account For Plans Of Expansion
MOSCOW - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has claimed that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has, for many years taken Finland and Sweden into account for its plans for eastward expansion during an educational marathon conference New Horizons.
Lavrov said, "Finland, Sweden, and other neutral countries have for years participated in NATO’s military exercises. NATO has taken its territories into account in planning its eastward movement. In this context, it apparently makes no difference anymore (in connection with their admission to NATO according to Russian state news TASS)".
He said, however, that Finland and Sweden have no reason to be worried about their security, and that "For this reason, we see their decision, which Washington and NATO surely lobbied for, as a geopolitical move in the context of Russia’s containment and the implementation of NATO’s plans to spread its activities to the Arctic region".
"Incidentally, the Finnish president and the Finnish ambassadors everywhere have been saying that they see no threats from Russia. Admission to NATO stems from the changes in the security situation in Europe. But there is no logic here" Lavrov stated.
He also pointed out that Russia will be keeping an eye on how NATO uses the territory of Finland and Sweden and "make its conclusions".
"But the European Union in a situation where Germany has lost independence and France is hopelessly trying to press for strategic autonomy is actually merging with NATO in practice, even in terms of its membership," he said.