Status: 06/30/2022 02:10
Russian President Putin has accused NATO of “imperial ambitions”. The Kremlin chief issued a warning to Sweden and Finland, but also said he had “no problem” with their joining NATO.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Sweden and Finland against stationing NATO troops and Alliance military infrastructure on their territory. If the countries of Northern Europe decide to take such a step, Russia will react accordingly.
His country “will create the same threats in the territory from which threats are created against us”. But Putin also told reporters in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabad that Russia had “no problem” with Finland and Sweden’s planned NATO memberships. “We don’t have problems with Sweden and Finland like we have with Ukraine.”
There are no “territorial differences” between the two countries. However, if “military contingents and military infrastructure were deployed” in the states, Russia would be obliged to respond in kind, Putin added.
Responsibility for mall attack denied
On Wednesday, NATO formally issued an invitation to join Sweden and Finland, which want to relinquish their longstanding status following Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the war in Ukraine had “entailed the biggest reform of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War”.
Putin then accused NATO of “imperial ambitions”. The military alliance is trying to assert its “supremacy” through the Ukrainian conflict. “Ukraine and the well-being of the Ukrainian people is not the goal of the collective West and NATO, but a means of defending their own interests.”
The Russian head of state also denied any responsibility in the attack on a shopping center in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk which left 18 dead. “Our army does not attack any civilian infrastructure. We are perfectly capable of knowing what is where,” he said.
NATO “destructive course”
Political Moscow had already shown little surprise in the evening, but clearly disappointed by NATO’s decision taken in Madrid to now also include Finland and Sweden in the alliance. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov condemned the move and spoke of a “destructive course” for the North Atlantic alliance.
According to Ryabkov, the talk of Euro-Atlantic solidarity only serves as a cover for the alliance’s aggressive plans towards Russia. This deplores Russia. NATO’s rhetoric is clear:
A new concept is adopted, in which Russia is identified as a threat to the alliance. But it is the Alliance that threatens us. And we will do everything to ensure our own safety and that of our allies in all circumstances.
Ina Ruck, ARD Moscow, on Russia’s reactions to the NATO summit results
daily topics 10:15 p.m., 29.6.2022
Three dimensions of change
In an interview on Russian state television, Federation Council deputy spokesman Konstantin Kosachev said direct relations between Finland and Sweden and Russia were also deteriorating. And this is only the first of a total of three dimensions.
The second dimension concerns the implications for regional cooperation. Because the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO transforms all the existing structures, such as the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Council of the Arctic Barents region and the Arctic Council, into structures in which all countries except Russia are members of NATO.
For Kosatschow, the third dimension is actually collective security itself, whether in Europe or in a wider global context. Any expansion of NATO, Kosatschow continued, would only further divide the world.
“They have been preparing this iron curtain for a long time”
But that is apparently exactly the goal, analyzes political scientist Araik Sepanyan in a political talk show close to the Kremlin:
They are supposed to block Russia from the west, from Finland to Turkey. They have planned this iron curtain for a long time. Now they have implemented this plan. Their task is to block Russia from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea and create hot spots around Russia.
Not only does the political scientist fail to mention that Finland and Sweden only decided to apply for NATO membership after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Peskow: ready for new stages
Instead, the NATO enlargement that has now been decided is used as proof that the “special military operation”, as the Kremlin continues to call its war in Ukraine, was a correct and even necessary step – to protect Russia’s interests. As a result, we are also ready to take further measures, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Let me remind you again that in the context of the new threats posed by these Alliance actions, our Ministry of Defense has drawn up plans for a corresponding reinforcement of the Western borders.
As always, Peskow left open what that reinforcement should look like.
Russia’s view on the NATO summit: “A new iron curtain”
Martha Wilczynski, ARD Moscow, June 29, 2022 7:47 p.m.