On Thursday, Russia’s ambassador to Sweden, Viktor Tatarintsev, hit out in an interview with the Dagens Nyheter daily at what he called an “aggressive propaganda campaign” by Swedish media.
“Russia is often described as an attacker who only thinks of conducting wars and threatening others. But I can guarantee that Sweden, which is an alliance-free nation, is not part of any military plans by Russian authorities. Sweden is not a target for our armed troops,” he said.
However, he underlined that if Sweden were to abandon its alliance neutrality and join the Western military organization [NATO], Russia would adopt “counter measures”.
“I don’t think it will become relevant in the near future, even though there has been a certain swing in public opinion. But if it happens there will be counter measures. Putin pointed out that there will be consequences, that Russia will have to resort to a response of the military kind and re-orientate our troops and missiles. The country that joins Nato needs to be aware of the risks it is exposing itself to,” he told DN.