A Russian state media presenter shared that the country’s only option would be to deploy nuclear weapons if Finland and Sweden make the decision to join NATO.
The statement by the Russian media was shared by Steve Rosenberg from BBC via a Twitter post.
“Their official reason is fear. But they’ll have more fear in Nato. When Nato bases appear in Sweden & Finland, Russia will have no choice but to neutralize the imbalance & new threat by deploying tactical nuclear weapons,” presenter Dmitry Kiselyov reportedly said on Russia 1.
Russian state TV on Finland/Sweden wanting to join Nato:”Their official reason is fear. But they’ll have more fear in Nato. When Nato bases appear in Sweden & Finland, Russia will have no choice but to neutralise the imbalance & new threat by deploying tactical nuclear weapons.” pic.twitter.com/lZ2dz0Q1oC
— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) May 15, 2022
Only one day after both countries made their announcements to submit their applications to NATO did this threat come into play.
According to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Finland and Sweden’s applications would be fast-tracked.
Sweden confirmed via an announcement that the process was in the works and their application would be made immediately.
NOW – Sweden has formally decided to apply for NATO membership. pic.twitter.com/S7Ws5dqr19
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) May 16, 2022
Finland is soon behind them, as their Parliament is expected to endorse the decision to apply in the near future, but it is considered a formality. Finland’s President Niinistö stated the decision would be the beginning of a “new era.”
He also shared that by joining NATO, Finland’s security would “maximize” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia and Finland share over 800 miles of border. Both Finland and Sweden have maintained a strict neutral position following the end of World War II and historically, Finland had viewed joining NATO as an incitement of Moscow.
Russia has continued to make various nuclear threats since the invasion of Ukraine and this is just its most recent one.
Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, shared with Senate leaders that she believed Putin would resort to nuclear weapons if “perceives that he is losing the war in Ukraine, and that NATO in effect is either intervening or about to intervene.”
Regardless, President Joe Biden thinks it is the best decision for both countries to join NATO. A White House statement shared that Biden “underscored his support for NATO’s Open Door policy and for the right of Finland and Sweden to decide their own future.”