DUSHANBE, June 6. /TASS/. NATO integrated Sweden and Finland in the alliance’s military system about a decade ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
"The Westerners say that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to prevent NATO expansion, but in fact he accelerated it. This has absolutely nothing to do with the matter. Yes, from a formal point of view, Finland and Sweden were not in NATO. These countries were neutral. But in practice, they have been actively participating in all alliance activities for the past 10 years: in exercises, maneuvers, and in the program that NATO imposed on the EU a few years ago to provide their territory for the transportation of all kinds of military assets in the event of hostilities," he said during a visit to a Russian military base in Tajikistan, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.
"The deployment of a military base or squadron is a secondary matter. The main thing is that they have long been under by the US-NATO steamroller," he said.