On Friday, Russia warned Finland and Sweden that they would face “military and political consequences” if they attempted to join NATO.
After Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine on Thursday, the Russian foreign ministry’s spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, issued a warning to other countries considering joining NATO.
A viral video clip of a press conference by Russian Foreign Minister Maria Zakharova said that Finland and Sweden should not base their security on undermining the security of other countries. “Their accession to NATO may have negative implications, as well as military and political consequences,” Zakharova said.
Later, the ministry issued a similar threat on its Twitter account. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden have provided major military and humanitarian assistance to the country.
One of the pretexts Russia has used to justify its attack on Ukraine is that NATO has refused to provide any assurances that Ukraine will not be permitted to join the international military organization.
Ukrainian officials had previously stated that they were adamant on joining NATO, but they are now open to discuss a different status with the alliance after hundreds were killed on the first day of fighting with the Russians.
Russia and Ukraine are both sending delegations to Belarus to discuss Ukraine’s potential adoption of a nonaligned status with NATO, which is now under consideration.
The negotiations take place at a time when Russia is closing in on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. However, according to U.S. intelligence, Ukrainians are putting up a stronger fight against Russian forces than was anticipated.
Ukraine has been arming its population and instructing them on how to make firebombs in order to resist Russian aggression.