Russia worse if Ukraine who joined the North Atlantic Defense Alliance (NATO) instead of Finland and Sweden.
Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov said Ukraine’s membership in NATO was seen as more of a concern for Russia than Finland and Sweden, which also share a border.
To Russia TodayPeskov revealed the reason Russia is less worried if Finland and Sweden join NATO than with Ukraine.
“We do not have border disputes with Finland and Sweden. Ukraine has the potential to become a member of NATO and in this case it can lead to territorial disputes so that it will drag the member countries (NATO) and pose a big risk on this continent (Europe),” Peskov said.
Peskov’s statement referred to the conflict over the Crimea region between Russia and Ukraine. The Kremlin itself annexed Crimea into its territory in 2014.
On the other hand, Ukraine still does not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Kiev even vowed to retake the peninsula in the south of the country.
Thus, Russia will do everything possible to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO.
The reason is also used by Russia to attack Ukraine since February 24. The Kremlin even emphasized Ukraine being a neutral country at one of their negotiating points.
However, Russia also remains wary if Finland and Sweden ultimately choose to become members of NATO. Currently, according to Peskov, the Kremlin is studying the consequences if the two countries enter into a Western defense alliance.
“We are not sure that the inclusion of Sweden and Finland [yang berbagi perbatasan darat sepanjang 1.340 kilometer dengan Rusia] will strengthen and enhance the security architecture on our continent,” Peskov said.
In the cold war era, Finland and Sweden did keep their distance from the United States and its allies, as well as from the Soviet Union at that time. However, the situation changed at this time.
Russia’s action to invade Ukraine is considered to be a factor that changed the situation so that Finland and Sweden chose to join NATO.
However, Turkey became one of the NATO members who refused Sweden and Finland to join the alliance.