Moscow / Brussels – A Russian news channel has warned that Russia will retaliate with nuclear weapons if military bases are set up in Sweden and Finland, applying for NATO membership. It was warned that Russia would deploy tactical nuclear weapons in a ‘Russia-1’ news channel programme. The warning came after Finland and Sweden announced that they would apply for NATO membership on Sunday. A few days ago, Russia’s senior leader Dmitry Medvedev warned that a possible conflict between NATO and Russia could turn into a nuclear war.
On Sunday morning, the President and Prime Minister of Finland announced their decision to join NATO at a joint press conference. Within a few hours after that, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson informed that the ruling party in Sweden was also ready to join NATO. However, it was also said that after becoming a member of NATO, Sweden would oppose nuclear deployment and a permanent military base. Sweden, which played a neutral role during World War II, had refused to involve in any military front for the past 200 years. Therefore, the readiness to involve in NATO has become a historic and revolutionary change in Sweden’s policy.
Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO has provoked strong reactions from Russia. Russian news channels have threatened to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to both countries. Russia has an active defence base at Kaliningrad in the Baltic marine sector. Information that new facilities and systems have been set up to deploy nuclear weapons at this base was released a few months ago. Russian Defence Forces had also used nuclear weapons during exercises held on this base. It is said that nuclear-carrier Iskander missiles are currently deployed at this base. However, Russia has not released any official information. It is claimed that the threat issued in a programme on ‘Russia-1’ would be about the deployment of Iskander missiles.
‘This is another grave mistake with far-reaching consequences. They should not have any illusions that we will simply put up with this,’ said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov about the decision by Finland and Sweden regarding NATO. He warned that NATO, the United States and other member states should not make the same mistake. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already warned that both the countries will be responded to NATO’s participation.