Swedish Minister Slams Russian ‘Threats’ About NATO Membership

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, May 31, 2015Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said relations between Sweden and Russia are “chillier than ever” after she met with the country’s ambassador in Stockholm to ask him to explain comments that the Nordic country would likely face military action if it were to join NATO.

Wallström’s comments came following a meeting with Russia’s ambassador to Sweden, Viktor Tatarintsev, to discuss what appeared to be a veiled threat made by a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman a week ago.

“Swedish membership in NATO would have politico-military and foreign policy consequences, and would require retaliatory measures from Russia,” said Maria Zakharova at a briefing in Moscow on September 10th….

“We wanted an explanation of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement. We also wanted to establish that Sweden decides its own foreign and security policies and that we do not accept attempts to, through threats, influence us in this or other matters,” she told the Expressen tabloid on Thursday.

“We delivered a clear message. Threats from Russia are unacceptable,” the minister added.

A total of 41 percent of Swedes think the country should join NATO while 39 percent remain against it, a major poll suggested on Monday, indicating a rapid shift in public opinion. A similar survey in May stated that 31 percent of respondents were for Nato membership.

Image: Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, May 31, 2015 (photo: Swedish Social Democratic Party)