Lavrov Warns Russia Would Take 'Measures' If Sweden Joins NATO
April 29, 2016
Moscow would respect any decision by Sweden to join NATO, but would take "measures"to respond to the military alliance's approach to its borders, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned.
"If Sweden decides to join NATO, we won't think that the Swedes decide to attack us," Lavrov said in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter published on April 28.
"However, as the Swedish military infrastructure in this situation would report to NATO supreme command, certainly we would have to take the necessary military-technical measures on our northern boundaries, bearing in mind that there is a military-political bloc on the other side of the border which sees Russia as a threat and wants to deter it in any way it can," he said.
He said Moscow's Defense Ministry would determine exactly what measures would be needed.
He added that Moscow is not interested in "stirring up any confrontational military activities" despite a turn toward "Russophobia" in NATO and Sweden, and Stockholm's decision to join European sanctions against Russia.
Moreover, he said Russia reaffirms each country's right to decide on its own what forms it wants to choose to ensure its security.
Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS
Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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