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Written by SOT.COM.AL 30 Mars 2023
The Foreign Ministry described the ambassador's comments as an "attempt to interfere".
Together with neighboring Finland, Sweden renounced its military neutrality last year and applied for NATO membership, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
What did the Russian ambassador say?
In a lengthy statement shared on the Russian embassy's Facebook page titled "A Swedish Step into the Abyss," the ambassador says that if Finland and Sweden join NATO, the alliance's borders with Russia will almost double.
He added that this would not strengthen Europe's security, but would make the new NATO members "a legitimate target for Russian retaliatory measures, including those of a military nature."
Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said his ministry had summoned the Russian ambassador "to make a clear statement against this blatant attempt at influence".
The joint effort of the Nordic countries to become members of NATO was full of obstacles, especially due to diplomatic disputes with Turkey and to a lesser extent with Hungary. Turkey has said it intends to ratify Finland's request this month, while Hungary's parliament has already approved it. While Sweden's request remains pending.
For a new country to join NATO, the requests must be unanimously approved by all 30 member countries.