Russia says it knows what to do in response to Finland, Sweden joining NATO

Foreign minister says he was 'astonished' how quickly Helsinki, Stockholm abandoned their neutral status

Elena Teslova  | 11.07.2023 - Update : 12.07.2023
Russia says it knows what to do in response to Finland, Sweden joining NATO


The Russian foreign minister on Tuesday said Moscow knows the steps to be taken to ensure its security in response to Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Sergey Lavrov said the countermeasures will depend on the kind of military infrastructure deployed in these countries.

"I assure you that all legitimate security interests of the Russian Federation will be ensured. Appropriate measures, we know what these measures are and how to implement them in practice ... We are taking adequate steps, and I can assure you, in advance," he stressed.

While Finland was accepted into the US-led military alliance in April, Sweden is set to become the group's 32nd member as Türkiye has decided to send the Nordic country's NATO Accession Protocol to its parliament for ratification.

Lavrov said he was astonished with the pace of Finland and Sweden's decision to abandon their neutral status and its advantages, which, according to him, included independence, good reputation, authority and beneficial trade and economic relations with Russia.

The top Russian diplomat argued that Finland and Sweden sacrificed their national interests to join the fight against Russia such that it cannot challenge the US-promoted idea of Western hegemony "for all eternity."

Palestine-Israeli settlement

On the Palestine-Israel conflict, Lavrov said the matter is in "a deep impasse" and demands "special efforts" to overcome the current stagnation.

"Our Arab friends have relevant ideas, and Russia has also come up with some initiatives," he said.

Several other countries are also interested in finding a way to resume direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel, and move towards settlement.

Lavrov said Moscow is also interested in normalization in the Persian Gulf and intends to do everything to help Arab states and Iran find mutually acceptable solutions.

The restoration of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia was an important step to this process, he noted.

On March 10 in Beijing, Iran and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement on the resumption of diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies within two months.

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