Russia Has to React if Sweden and Finland Join NATO – Medvedev

"NATO ... has a military potential which can be used against our country in certain cases"

From RT:  Russia cannot see NATO expansion towards its borders as positive, as under certain circumstances the possibility of military confrontation remains, the Russian PM has said at the Euro-Arctic Council’s forum.

When a reporter asked Dmitry Medvedev how the balance of forces in Europe will change if Sweden and Finland decide to enter NATO, the Russian Prime Minister answered that his country would have to react to such developments.

This is their own business; they are making decisions in accordance with the national sovereignty doctrine. But we have to consider the fact that for us the NATO bloc is not simply some estranged organisation, but a structure with military potential,” the head of the Russian government said adding that under certain unfavorable scenarios this potential could be used against Russia.

All new members of the North Atlantic alliance that appear in proximity of our state eventually do change the parity of the military force. And we have to react to this,” the top official noted.

At the same time, Medvedev told reporters that currently Russia and NATO have a working and effective body of cooperation – the Russia-NATO council.

From Balazs Koranyi, Reuters:  Although Sweden and Finland are not actively seeking membership, both nations cooperate extensively with NATO and have openly debated the possibility of joining.

Speculation over Sweden mounted after it warned earlier this year that its defence capabilities were alarmingly limited. It was embarrassed in April when it could not respond to Russian military jets nearing its border, according to media reports. . . .

"NATO … has a military potential which can be used against our country in certain cases," Medvedev said, as Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt looked on. . . .

"The fact that Norway is a member of NATO has not had any negative effect whatsoever on the development of cooperation in this part of the world," Sweden’s Bildt said in response. . . .

Sweden’s alleged lack of military preparedness has been the subject of ridicule on Russian television, not least in the wake of remarks by Sweden’s top military commander that the country could only fend off an invader for a matter of days before outside help was needed(photo: Dmitri Astakhov/RIA Novosti)

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