A foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday that the United States was not worried that Sweden and Finland’s possible access to NATO would be at the expense of political stability in Europe.
Asked if such a NATO expansion would lead to further conflict with Russia, he said he feared it would “do nothing but improve stability on the European continent.”
On Wednesday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson announced that she would be applying for membership in the Western Military Alliance at the NATO summit in Madrid in June. Finland has been playing with this idea for some time. On Wednesday, Finnish Prime Minister Channa Marin said her country would decide on membership in the coming weeks.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian Defense Council President Dmitry Medvedev warned that if Finland and Sweden joined NATO, it would be futile to talk about the non-nuclear status of the Baltic Sea. A Baltic or Baltic Sea region has been mentioned for decades, and not all countries involved are allowed to possess nuclear weapons. It must reduce the risk of a nuclear expansion of the conflict between Russia and NATO.
Russia has a large naval port in the Baltic Sea at Kaliningrad, the headquarters of the Baltic Fleet. St. Petersburg, the second largest city in the country, is located on the Baltic Sea. With Finland and Sweden’s NATO members, the entire Baltic Sea will become a kind of NATO inland sea, with the exception of part of the Gulf of Finland near St. Petersburg and about 120 km of coastline in Kaliningrad.
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