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The Kremlin on Monday says it is “not convinced” Finland and Sweden joining NATO would “improve the security architecture on our continent.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the remark, according to the AFP, a day after Finland said it wanted to join the military alliance as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. Sweden also appears close to applying for NATO membership itself.
“We are not convinced that Finland and Sweden joining NATO will somehow strengthen or improve the security architecture on our continent,” Peskov reportedly said.
Top leadership in Finland called it a “historic day” Sunday as it announced the previously neutral Nordic country wants to join NATO.
PREVIOUSLY NEUTRAL FINLAND ANNOUNCES IT WANTS TO JOIN NATO
But Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Finland Saturday that relations between the two neighbors could be “negatively affected” if Finnish President Sauli Niinisto follows through on the plan to apply for NATO membership.
Sweden, also nonaligned, moved a step closer to applying for NATO membership after the governing Social Democratic party met Sunday and backed joining the trans-Atlantic alliance.
The plan to join the alliance will be discussed in Sweden’s parliament on Monday, and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Cabinet will make an announcement later that day.
Sweden has not been a member of a military alliance since the Napoleonic Wars. Finland adopted neutrality after being defeated by the Red Army in World War II and losing about 10% of its territory.
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“Our 200-year-long standing policy of military nonalignment has served Sweden well,” Andersson said during a news conference in Stockholm late Sunday. “But the issue at hand is whether military nonalignment will keep serving us well?”
“We’re now facing a fundamentally changed security environment in Europe,” she added.
Fox News’ Emma Colton and the Associated Press contributed to this report.