Meanwhile, video appears to show Russian military equipment being moved to border with Finland.
A few short months ago, Sweden’s new Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, said her nation would not apply for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) out of concerns for regional stability and security.
However, Andersson did note that her decision was subject to change…in the event of European conflict.
…Andersson emphasised that her administration will not refrain from stepping in if in case, any other European or Nordic country come under attack. Furthermore, Andersson also asserted that her country will bolster its defence cooperation with Finland and other Nordic neighbours within the EU, “alongside deepening its partnership with NATO and the United States”.
In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, consider her mind changed, then.
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson met in Stockholm on Wednesday to discuss regional security matters in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
At a joint press conference afterwards, Marin said she could not give a timetable for a decision on whether Finland would join NATO but nonetheless said the decision was weeks, not months away.
Andersson said Sweden would not rush a decision, but the country’s assessment of the security situation would be thorough but expedient.
Svenska Dagbladet reported Andersson said the country would likely seek to join by June.
The ministers spoke as the Finnish government released an official assessment Wednesday of how Russia’s invasion has changed its security environment. This documentation begins the process that has been expected to culminate in a request to join NATO.
The assessment, known as a white paper, does not make a recommendation about NATO membership, officials said, but will be used as a starting point for parliamentary debate as the country weighs a historic shift in its defense position.
Finland and neighboring Sweden are officially nonaligned militarily, but Russia’s aggression has led to a dramatic shift in public sentiment. Wednesday’s white paper marks the start of the process for Finland, where support for joining NATO has jumped to 68 percent, according to a poll over the weekend.
Their potential accession would probably draw outrage from Putin, who has described NATO expansion as a threat to Russian security. Now, his brutal war there may bring the military alliance closer to his door.
Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, threatened to deploy nuclear weapons near the Baltics if Sweden and Finland join NATO:
Medvedev also explicitly raised the nuclear threat by saying that there could be no more talk of a “nuclear free” Baltic – where Russia has its Kaliningrad exclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.
“There can be no more talk of any nuclear–free status for the Baltic – the balance must be restored,” said Medvedev, who was Russian president from 2008 to 2012.
Medvedev said he hoped Finland and Sweden would see sense. If not, he said, they would have to live with nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles close to home.
Russia has the world’s biggest arsenal of nuclear warheads and along with China and the United States is one of the global leaders in hypersonic missile technology.
Meanwhile, it is being reported that Russian forces appear to have moved military vehicles near the border with Finland.
The unconfirmed footage, shared online on Monday, showed at least two Russian military vehicles moving towards the border with Finland.
In the clip, shared on Twitter by user OSINTdefender, the vehicles appear to be K-300P Bastion-Ps, which are coastal defense missile systems.
Towards the end of the 43-second video, the person holding the camera focuses on a street sign which gives directions to Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
…The video was shared on social media just hours after Russia warned its Western neighbor against joining NATO.
There are Unconfirmed reports today that Russian Forces in the Leningrad Region near the City of Vyborg are beginning to move Heavy Military Equipment including K-300P Bastion Coastal Defense Missile Systems towards the Gulf of Finland and the Finnish Border. pic.twitter.com/UUtq5GQ5ej
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) April 11, 2022
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