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Security situation in the Baltic Sea region: Medvedev: Will react to Finland joining NATO

Security situation in the Baltic Sea region
Medvedev: Will react to Finland joining NATO

The planned admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO is a thorn in Russia’s side. The former head of the Kremlin, Medvedev, complains that the Baltic Sea is now “dominated by NATO countries.” He threatens “symmetrical” reaction steps.

Former Kremlin chief Dmitry Medvedev believes that Sweden and Finland joining NATO will trigger a military counter-reaction from Russia. If NATO bases are set up on the territory of the countries and weapons are stationed, then “our reaction steps will be symmetrical,” said the deputy chief of the Russian Security Council after a meeting on the security situation on the border with Finland, according to the Interfax agency.

After the Russian attack on Ukraine, Sweden and Finland gave concerns about their own security as a reason for wanting to join NATO. Before that they were neutral. At its summit in Madrid at the end of June, NATO approved the membership applications. Since then, ratification by the individual member states has been ongoing.

Medvedev believes that the decision for the two countries to join NATO worsens the security situation in the Baltic Sea region, “because the Baltic Sea is now actually becoming a sea dominated by NATO countries.” He accused the two states of being “influenced from across the ocean and from Brussels”. Relations with the countries would now have to be reviewed by the Russian side. In the north, Russia shares a more than 1,300-kilometer border with Finland. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin had already announced at the end of June that the country’s accession to NATO would entail military countermeasures by his country.

Accession protocols have already been signed

It was only at the beginning of July that the Bundestag approved Finland and Sweden joining NATO. A majority of the deputies in Berlin voted for a law that is the prerequisite for the acceptance of corresponding protocols by Germany. The factions of the traffic light coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP as well as the Union and majority of the AfD from the opposition voted for this.

The ambassadors of the 30 alliance states had already signed the so-called accession protocols at the headquarters in Brussels in the presence of the foreign ministers of the two Nordic countries. “We are witnessing how European history is being written,” said Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. The enlargement of NATO sends a message to the Russian President, the minister said. “We are strengthening precisely the security architecture, the peace order that Putin wants to destroy,” she said. “The West, which he despises so much, is getting stronger, not weaker.”

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