MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Moscow will use all means to choke off any threat of NATO’s military attack created by Ukraine’s desire to join the bloc and return lost territories, Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Deputy Speaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Monday.
"Two things are enshrined in all of Ukraine’s military doctrines. The first one is gaining NATO membership and the second is using new opportunities to return the territories the country has lost. This creates the prospect for a military attack and the use of military force against our country not only by Ukraine but by the entire bloc. It is an absolutely unacceptable threat and all the possible and impossible means will be employed to nip it in the bud," the senator told the Vmeste-RT TV channel.
He pointed out that as for NATO expansion, the Ukraine situation posed far greater threats than the planned membership of Finland and Sweden. "The reason is that neither Finland, nor Sweden, nor Norway, which is a NATO country that we have shared a land border with since the Soviet era, put Russia’s territorial integrity into question, while Ukraine does, because it doesn’t accept the change in the status of Russia’s four new constitutional entities and it is even less willing to accept the change in the status of Crimea and Sevastopol," the Russian Federation Council deputy speaker noted.
He also warned that joining NATO would not contribute to ensuring the national security of Finland and Sweden. Moreover, in the senator’s words, it may "create additional threats to the two countries." "Because clearly, in terms of military planning, we cannot ignore the fact that we will have a new section of shared land border with NATO, that is, the Russian-Finnish border, and the maritime border with Sweden," Kosachev specified.
On May 18, Helsinki and Stockholm submitted their applications to join the US-led alliance but the process was blocked by Ankara who demanded that the two Nordic countries extradite people to Turkey suspected of terrorism and being involved in the 2016 coup, and bans on weapons supplies to Turkey should be lifted. Talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg took place in Madrid on June 28. As a result, a memorandum was signed making it possible for Sweden and Finland to join NATO. The Turkish leader stated that Sweden had pledged to extradite over 70 people involved in terrorist activities.