You are currently viewing Russia objects to Sweden’s membership in NATO because of the US course to aggravate the situation

STOCKHOLM, 13 February. /Then24/. The desire of the US and NATO to escalate the security situation is the reason why Russia objects to Sweden’s membership in the North Atlantic alliance. This was stated by the Russian Ambassador to the Kingdom Viktor Tatarintsev in an interview published on Saturday in the newspaper Aftonbladet.

“If the US and NATO had not provoked and aggravated the situation, we would not have objected to Sweden joining NATO. We would respect Sweden’s decision. But now the security situation in this part of Europe has changed dramatically. NATO expansion is the biggest threat to Russia,” the diplomat said.

He was asked whether the kingdom, in his opinion, should independently decide whether to join NATO or not. “We don’t say that to Sweden. We say this to NATO and the United States. This is not a question of bilateral relations only between Russia and Sweden. This is a fundamental and comprehensive question,” Tatarintsev replied.

He did not comment on how Sweden’s entry into the alliance would pose a threat to the security of the Russian Federation. “I don’t want to speculate on this topic. From the Swedish side, I see no intention to join NATO in the near future,” the ambassador said.

The diplomat expressed regret over the too close cooperation between Sweden and the North Atlantic Alliance and the freezing of contacts with Russia in the military field. “To build trust and strengthen security, it is necessary to be in contact with both sides. The absence of military contacts with Russia does not benefit Sweden,” the Russian ambassador stressed.

As an example, he cited the call in January of this year of six ships of the Russian Navy in the Baltic Sea, which attracted a lot of attention in Sweden against the background of the aggravated international situation. “If Sweden had contacts with the Russian military, then Stockholm could call and ask what these ships are doing there. Then he would know that it was a regular technical inspection, and there would be no excitement. Then Sweden would not have to transfer military units from Buden to Gotland,” Tatarintsev explained.

Transfer of forces to Gotland

When asked if Russia felt threatened by such a “show of force” by Sweden, the ambassador replied in the negative. In his opinion, the inhabitants of Gotland should have experienced the greatest nervousness in this situation, fearing that Russia was about to launch an invasion of the island. “The effect may have turned out to be somewhat comical, but I do not want to interfere in the internal affairs of Sweden,” Tatarintsev said. He recalled that the kingdom has every right to move its armed forces across its territory at its own discretion.

The Russian ambassador gave an assessment of the state of relations between the two countries. “Now relations are completely frozen on the Swedish initiative and have remained in this state since 2014. There are no contacts between our parliamentarians and the military. And this is very bad,” he said.

According to the ambassador, Russia has repeatedly taken the initiative to unfreeze relations, but up until its recent presentation of demands for security guarantees, it has met with an exceptionally cold reception. “Now the Swedish government is suddenly talking about dialogue. It’s abnormal and unnatural not to talk to each other because of what happened in a third country,” the Russian diplomat said.

The Swedish Armed Forces reported on January 15 that they had transferred to the island of Gotland an operational special unit, which is part of the regiment from the province of Norrbotten. The transfer was carried out from Kallax Airport by a C-17 transport aircraft of the international transport organization Heavy Airlift Wing, which includes the kingdom. Part of the military arrived on the island by ferry. In the message of the Armed Forces, these actions were called “Sweden’s reaction to the aggravation in relations between Russia and Ukraine.”

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