NATO countries vow to defend Finland and Sweden if Russia attacks

Should Russia take military action over Sweden or Finland’s attempts to join NATO, it would face opposition from three countries that are already members of the international alliance.

On Monday, Denmark, Iceland and Norway released a joint statement explaining how far they would go to protect Sweden and Finland over their decision to apply for NATO membership.

In the press release, the three countries stated that if Finland or Sweden “become a victim of aggression on their territory before receiving NATO membership, we will support Finland and Sweden by any means necessary.”

The statement by the three European countries came after Russian officials expressed their disapproval of Finland and Sweden’s possible NATO accession. On Monday, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov addressed the possibility, saying NATO “should have no illusions that we’re just going to put up with it.”

Finland and Sweden were also threatened with the use of nuclear weapons by Dmitry Kiselyov, a presenter of a Russian state television station.

“If NATO bases are established in Sweden and Finland, Russia will have no choice but to neutralize the imbalance and the new threat of using tactical nuclear weapons,” Kiselyov said.

Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
Three NATO member countries have said they will defend Finland and Sweden if attacked over their decision to join the military alliance. Above: Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson speaks during a news conference in Stockholm May 16.
HENRIK MONTGOMERY/Getty Images

Last month, the Kremlin warned the two countries against the move. At the time, a Kremlin spokesman said NATO “remains a confrontational instrument and its further expansion will not bring stability to the European continent.”

In their statement on Monday, the three countries said they “strongly welcome the decision of Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership.” The publication added that Finland and Sweden, as independent sovereign nations, have the “right to choose their own security arrangements.”

In addition, the three countries suggested that aid to Finland and Sweden is not just about the security of those nations should they fall victim to an attack, but also about collective security.

“Finland and Sweden share the values ​​and principles of our alliance and will enhance our collective defense and strengthen Euro-Atlantic security,” the statement said, adding, “The security of Finland and Sweden is a concern of all of us.”

However, the publication also made it clear that these countries are not waiting for an attack to occur to prepare.

“We are immediately initiating preparations to implement these security commitments. We will also further develop our defense cooperation with Finland and Sweden,” the three countries said.

news week contacted the Foreign Ministry offices for Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Russia for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/nato-countries-denmark-iceland-norway-response-finland-sweden-russia-attack-1707029 NATO countries vow to defend Finland and Sweden if Russia attacks

Rick Schindler

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