Former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev has warned that Russia must strengthen its defense in the Baltic Sea region, including through nuclear weapons, if Finland and Sweden join NATO.
News agency Reuters reported Medvedev said Russia must strengthen its land, naval and air forces in the Baltic Sea to restore military balance if the two Nordic countries decide to apply to join the alliance.
"The nuclear power of the Baltic Sea can no longer be talked about – the balance must be restored," Medvedev said noting this "To date, Russia has not taken such measures and does not intend to do so."
He added that he hoped "reason" would prevail and both countries would choose not to join the Alliance.
Medvedev, who currently serves as vice-chairman of the Russian Security Council, is also a close ally of the president. Vladimir Putin. His comments came after the Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin (SDP) met with his Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson In Stockholm on Wednesday.
"I do not give any timetable [for] when we make our decisions. But I think it will happen pretty quickly. In weeks, not months," Marin stated.
In both countries, public and political support for joining NATO has increased since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
On Wednesday, the Finnish government published a white paper outlining the benefits and risks of NATO membership. The report was considered as a starting point for a formal discussion on a possible application.
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Source: The Nordic Page