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Kremlin threatens Sweden with ‘retaliatory steps’ in case of joining NATO

In the event of the accession of Sweden to NATO, Russia would take retaliatory steps. It was stated by Mariia Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
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According to Zakharova, if Sweden joins NATO, it will require reciprocal steps from the Russian side, Joinfo.ua reports.

“We have repeatedly stated that the choice of strategy of national defense and security is an internal and sovereign matter for each country. However, we still consider the policy of Sweden’s non-participation in the military bloc as an important factor of stability in northern Europe,” said Zakharova.

“Accession of Sweden to NATO would have military, political and foreign policy implications that would require the necessary reciprocal steps from the Russian side,” said the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. Gen. Philip Breedlove said that Russia constantly challenged NATO by the force of habit since the times of Cold War, dividing the world into good (itself and its allies) and bad (NATO). And the aggression of the Russian Federation is permanent. But NATO is able to resist the aggression.

Stoltenberg said he welcomed the U.S. decision on the transfer of heavy equipment to the countries of Eastern Europe, as NATO helps to deter Russian aggression every day. NATO Secretary General said that NATO’s new command centers in Eastern Europe were the key to effective planning and coordination of the forces of the European states and NATO. Stoltenberg stressed that although NATO military forces in Europe were not used, they were extremely useful. “NATO is not idle in Europe – every day the Alliance promotes deterrence,” said the Secretary General.

It should be noted that on September 7, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said that there would be concluded an agreement on expansion of the official status of the diplomatic representation of the Alliance in Ukraine. “We have agreed with the Secretary General to sign the agreement on the status of NATO representation in Ukraine during this visit.  We are moving away from the concept of the NATO Liaison Office and will create, in fact, a real NATO’s Embassy in Ukraine,” Klimkin said.