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Moscow Vows Response to Sweden's NATO Accession

Stockholm, Sweden. Adam Gavlák / unsplash

Russia will take measures against Sweden following its accession to NATO, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Sweden on Monday cleared the final hurdle to become the 32nd member of the U.S.-led military alliance after Hungary, the last holdout in accession talks, ratified the Nordic country's membership.

Stockholm dropped years of military non-alignment when it applied for NATO membership alongside Finland in the wake of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“We’ll closely monitor what Sweden does in the aggressive military bloc, how it will implement its membership in practice,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a weekly press briefing.

She said Moscow’s “military and technical” retaliation would depend on the types of NATO weapons and units Sweden deploys, as well as the types of drills and strategies it adopts as a member of the military alliance.

“Based on that, we’ll develop our response policy, as well as military and technical steps, to stop the threats to Russia’s national security,” Zakharova added.

Her statement echoes Russia’s Embassy in Stockholm, which warned earlier Tuesday that Moscow’s response was contingent on the “conditions and scale of Sweden’s integration into NATO, including the possible deployment of NATO units, strike systems and weapons.”

Last year, Russia’s ambassador in Stockholm said that NATO’s new members would become “a legitimate target for Russian retaliatory measures.”

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