Russia Warns Of Consequences From Finland And Sweden Joining NATO Alliance
MOSCOW - Member of the Russian state Duma Leonid Slutsky said that while the Sweden and Finland's choice to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance is their choice, it will have consequences on their relationship with Russia, and on the "general security architecture in Europe" which is already in "deep crisis".
Russian state news agency TASS also claims that Turkey lifted it's veto on the Nordic countries joining the alliance after a weapon sale ban on Turkey was lifted. Just one day after Turkey withdrew its opposition, the United States Backed the Sale of F-16 jets to Turkey.
Slutsky wrote on his Telegram channel Wednesday that "The accession of Finland and Sweden, in fact, to the front line of the alliance and the rejection of [their] non-aligned status will be the choice of these countries. However, they should clearly understand the consequences such a step would have on their relations with Russia and on the general security architecture in Europe, which is already in deep crisis".
He also claimed that since the Soviet Union collapsed, the "US-led military bloc [NATO]" has consistently sought to 'move close to Russia's borders" and said that NATO's "mantras" about its "defensive nature" are merely a smokescreen.
"For Russia, NATO's eastward expansion began not with the alliance inviting Sweden and Finland to get onboard, but by breaking promises once made to the first president of the Soviet Union. Since then, we have already seen several waves of this kind, which time after time has triggered new concerns on ensuring the security and national interests of our country" he stated.
Yes, and if I were Turkey, I would not be too flattered about the assurances I received in exchange for not vetoing the Finns’ and Swedes’ accession to NATO. Gorbachev was also once promised something" he added.
Russian state news agency TASS pointed to Turkey's block on the two Nordic countries from joining the NATO alliance, and claimed that the reason the block was lifted was because in exchange for Turkey to lift its veto, "a ban on the sale of weapons to Ankara was lifted, and the parties vowed to fight terrorism".
The Russian state news agency also said that "Erdogan's office told TASS that Turkey considered the signed document as a result achieved by Sweden and Finland, which will allow them to join the alliance".
Washington had shown support toward the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey just one day after Turkey withdrew its objections regarding Sweden and Finland joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Celeste Wallander, who is the Pentagon Assistant Secretary for Defense for International Security Affairs said "The United States supports Turkey’s modernization of its fighter fleet because that is a contribution to NATO security and therefore American security. These plans are in the works. And, they need to be worked through our contracting processes".
The request for 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets, along with around 80 modernization kids to upgrade its current military aircraft was made by Turkey back in October, 2021.
U.S President Joe Biden spoke with the President of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan and said "I want to particularly thank you for what you did", in regards to his efforts in agreeing to a deal accepting Sweden and Finland into joining the NATO alliance.
Turkey had objected to the two Nordic countries joining the organization due to the countries support of the PKK and YPG groups, which Turkey has deemed terrorist organizations. With the new deal however, Sweden and Finland both signed an agreement not to support the PKK and YPG Kurdish militant groups.
U.S. officials have objected to the notion that Washington's backing of the sale of F-16s to Turkey had anything to do with their lifting their block against the two Nordic countries from joining the NATO alliance.
A senior administration official said "The U.S. did not offer anything to Turkey and was not asked for anything by Turkey" in order to lift Turkey's block against Sweden and Finland joining the NATO alliance.