MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. Russia will beef up security along its Western borders if Sweden and Finland join NATO and there would be no more talk of a nuclear-free Baltic, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Thursday.
"Very soon, that is precisely, by this summer, the world will become even ‘safer’," he noted. "If Sweden and Finland join NATO, the length of the alliance's land border with Russia will more than double. Naturally, it will be necessary to strengthen these borders," he maintained.
Medvedev explained that it would be necessary to beef up the group of ground troops and the air defense system and deploy substantial naval forces in the Gulf of Finland. "If this is the case, there can no longer be talk about the Baltic’s non-nuclear status - the balance must be restored," he stated.
"Until today, Russia has not taken such measures, nor was it going to do so. If we are forced to, then ‘note, it wasn’t us who suggested this,’ as a character in a famous old movie said," he added.
Hope that common sense prevails
The top official noted that currently, Sweden and Finland are discussing the possibility of joining the alliance "with ferocious seriousness." That said, NATO itself "is ready to literally carry them in, as quickly as possible and with the least amount of bureaucratic procedures."
"The US is broadcasting its "Welcome!" [sign] to the representatives of Northern Europe literally in every way possible. Just humbly knock - and we will let you in. And what does this mean? This means that Russia will have more official adversaries," he pointed out.
He added that it is clear that Moscow should react to this "without emotions, and with a cool head." "The number of countries in NATO - thirty or thirty-two - on the whole is not really important to us. Two more, two less, with their importance and population there is no big difference," he noted.
That said, Medvedev stressed that there is no sense in arguing that if it was not for the special operation in Ukraine, the accession of these countries to NATO wouldn’t have been an issue in the first place, and the situation would have been simpler for Russia. "This is not true. First of all, the attempts to drag them into the alliance were made before. Secondly, which is the main thing, we do not have territorial disputes with these countries like with Ukraine. This is why the value of such membership is different for us," he explained.
The deputy chairman of the Security Council noted that public opinion in Sweden and Finland on the issue of the necessity of joining NATO is divided practically down the middle and this is after "the utmost effort of homespun advocates."
"Nobody in their right mind wants higher prices and taxes, mounting tension along the borders, Iskanders, hypersonic weapons or ships with nukes a stone’s throw from their house. Let’s hope that the common sense of our neighbors eventually prevails. Yet if not, then, as they say, "they started it," Medvedev concluded.