Russia says Sweden will become a "legitimate target" for "military measures" after joining NATO

Russia says Sweden will become a "legitimate target" for "military measures" after joining NATO

Swedish Foreign Ministry summoned the Swedish ambassador in response

Russia says Sweden will become a "legitimate target" for "military measures" after joining NATO

The Swedish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it would summon the Russian ambassador to Stockholm to complain about an "attempt to interfere" with Sweden's NATO application process.

Source. This was reported by Reuters.

Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership in 2022 shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and hope to complete the process this year.

The Russian ambassador said in a statement on the embassy's website that joining NATO made the Nordic countries "a legitimate target for Russian retaliatory measures, including military ones."

A spokesman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry told Reuters that the ambassador would be summoned.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is summoning the Russian ambassador to protest this apparent attempt at interference," Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Bilstrom told TT news agency.

The minister emphasized that Stockholm's security policy is determined by Sweden and no one else.

As a reminder, Sweden has applied for NATO membership along with Finland, but it has not yet been ratified by Hungary and Turkey.

Hungary said that in exchange for ratification of the protocol, MPs expect Sweden to "assure" them of non-interference in Budapest's domestic politics. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Bylstrom replied that Stockholm would not make any promises to Hungary.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in February that Sweden and Finland could be admitted to the Alliance before July.

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