STOCKHOLM, December 23. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in Sweden thinks that the kingdom’s accession to NATO will result in the loss of its national sovereignty, according to a statement posted on the diplomatic mission’s website on Friday.
"Becoming a member of the US-led North Atlantic alliance essentially means completely losing national sovereignty by opening your soil to NATO bases. And US ships and aircraft with nuclear weapons onboard will be stationed at Swedish ports and airfields. And you can ban the deployment of WMD’s in Sweden all you like, citing various agreements and memorandums - Washington never asks and won’t ask permission. It may simply ‘forget’ to inform the Swedes about it," the Russian Embassy emphasized.
The diplomatic mission’s comment was triggered by ex-Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde’s interview with the Dagens Nyheter daily in which she "explained to readers what made her, until recently a consistent adherent of non-aligned policy, ‘change her tune’ and become a fervent supporter of the country’s accession to NATO." During the interview, the politician said: "I cannot say exactly when this happened but the realization came to me gradually, when it became obvious that Russians are targeting civilians. This is shocking."
Meanwhile, the Russian diplomatic mission wants people to think about what does not shock Linde. "According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as of December 31, 2021, upwards of 14,400 people have become victims of the Ukrainian conflict. All of them, including women and children, are victims of the Kiev regime," the embassy reiterated. "From March 2003 through July 2006, Stockholm’s overseas ‘partners’ killed as many as 654,000 people in Iraq - according to a report by Johns Hopkins University. As a result of NATO’s bombardments of Yugoslavia, over 500 civilians were killed but this is only according to Human Rights Watch, as the Yugoslavian government asserted that up to 2,500 were killed and up to 5,000 people were wounded," the embassy added.
Russian diplomats "have not heard" that Linde or any other representative of Sweden’s leadership "has been shocked by this number of innocent victims." The embassy reiterated that "Sweden was being persistently pulled into NATO for a while - naturally, long before the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine."
According to the diplomats, this follows from Stockholm’s relations with the alliance: in 1994, it joined the Partnership for Peace program and since the 1990s, it has been accepting NATO standards in Sweden’s armed forces. In 1997, Sweden became a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and since 2013, the country has been actively participating in the alliance’s drills and joined the NATO Response Force. Since 2014, Sweden and Finland have been NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partners and in 2016, Sweden signed the so-called host country agreement with NATO, allowing unhindered NATO exercises on Swedish soil, accepting the alliance’s aid and regulating the issues of stationing foreign troops in the country, the embassy concluded.