Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying on Saturday that if NATO sends nuclear forces and equipment closer to Russia’s border, Moscow will take appropriate precautions.
Grushko was quoted by Interfax as saying, “It will be necessary to respond… by adopting proper preventive steps that would assure the viability of deterrence.”
Moscow has no hostile intentions towards Finland and Sweden and does not see “real” reasons for those two countries to be joining the NATO alliance, Grushko added.
He also reiterated the Kremlin’s earlier statement that Moscow’s response to NATO’s possible expansion will depend on how close the alliance moves military assets towards Russia and what infrastructure it deploys.
Finland’s plan to apply for NATO membership, announced on Thursday, and the expectation that Sweden will follow, would bring about the expansion of the Western military alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed to prevent.