Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would react to the planned expansion of NATO to include Sweden and Finland. The expansion of NATO is a problem, says Putin in Moscow. Russia has no problems with the two Nordic countries.

However, he will react to the expansion of the military infrastructure there. In addition, Russia must also keep in mind that NATO wants to expand its global influence. The Russian government believes that Sweden and Finland joining NATO would be a mistake with far-reaching consequences.

According to the Office of the President, Russia will closely monitor the NATO membership applications of the two Nordic countries. “This is a serious matter. This is a matter that worries us, and we will follow very closely what the consequences of Finland and Sweden joining NATO will be in terms of our security (…),” said Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

The Russian leadership is convinced that joining the two countries in the US-led military alliance would in no way strengthen Europe’s security architecture, Peskov said.

Such a step would radically change the global situation, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of the Russian news agency Interfax. Sweden and Finland should have no illusions that Russia would take their decision so lightly, Ryabkov said.