On the contrary, the Russians must change their perception of previously neutral countries as a springboard for the NATO threat. And in such a paradigm, the non-nuclear power of the Baltic Sea can be forgotten, ”Stepanov said.
The Russian ambassador suggested that the West made a dangerous choice for a future model of security and stability after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
“The end of the Cold War may have seemed like a common victory. History has shown otherwise. The United States and its allies, assuming victory, missed an opportunity to remove old divisions from Europe and create a new framework. “Washington’s planners have decided to expand NATO and ignore Russia’s security concerns,” Stepanov told Sputnik. .
The ambassador warned that NATO enlargement, especially the possible accession of Finland and Sweden, would only exacerbate tensions.
“Whatever NATO claims to be, it is a nuclear war machine that came to our door,” Stepanov said, adding that “the inclusion of Helsinki and Stockholm as NATO will also extend its line of contact with Russia to more than 1,300 kilometers.” [808 miles]. And our good neighbors suddenly realize that our hitherto politically and militarily peaceful region has suddenly been included in the arc of tension between NATO and Russia. “
Stepanov emphasized that the Russians have always respected the tradition of Swedish democracy and military non-alignment, and that both Sweden and Finland have had a fairly stable coexistence model with Russia.
“US and NATO bureaucracy [are] with different tactics to stimulate certain political camps in Finland and Sweden to persuade the two nations to abandon a peaceful way of life and transform the area of military non-alignment, stability and prosperity in Northern Europe into a new possible theater of war. Once they have been sovereign and respected for their unique independent status, they will lose that aura and will have to obey the collective discipline of NATO controlled by the United States, which is often against their security interests, ”the Russian ambassador said.
He told Sputnik that Finns and Swedes must thoroughly assess the situation before a decision on NATO membership is made, not after the decision cannot be revoked.
“Do Finns and Swedes really want to be drawn into the US geopolitical march against Russia? We are neighbors and the price of responsibility for the three of us is much higher than for Washington DC ideologues,” Stepanov said, adding that “in these times of European security, one can only hope that wisdom wins – so that Finnish and Swedish voters and their elected representatives can once again review and assess whether NATO’s temptations are worth it. “
Finland and Sweden began discussions on the possibility of relinquishing long-term neutrality and joining NATO during the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Head of the Association, Jens Stoltenbergsaid in March that NATO would welcome Finland and Sweden and offer them the opportunity to join the alliance quickly.
The United States expects Sweden to formally apply to become a full member of NATO by the end of June, while Finland could decide to join as early as this month.
Source: ANI / Sputnik
Source: The Nordic Page