‘A Threat That Must Be Eliminated,’ Putin’s Chilling Message To Sweden Over NATO Membership

‘A threat that must be eliminated’ Putin’s chilling message to Sweden over NATO membership

VLADIMIR Putin has issued a chilling warning to Sweden over the possibility of it joining NATO, saying such a move would represent a “threat” to Russia which would have to be “eliminated”.

By Nick Gutteridge, Brussels Correspondent

PUBLISHED: 11:30, Mon, Jun 5, 2017 | UPDATED: 17:13, Mon, Jun 5, 2017

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Vladimir Putin has warned Sweden off joining NATO

In a sinister speech the Kremlin chief said relations between Stockholm and Moscow would plummet in the event of the former acceding to the trans-Atlantic military alliance.

And Mr Putin strongly hinted he would take retaliatory action in such a scenario, saying Russia could not stand by and tolerate NATO moving ever closer to its borders.

It is thought highly unlikely that any response would be military, although tensions have risen so much in recent months that the Kremlin has unnervingly been forced to deny that it has “any plans to invade Sweden”.

Instead Moscow would probably take diplomatic steps, such as reducing cooperation, and possibly even introduce economic measures designed to demonstrate its displeasure at the expansion of NATO.

Mr Putin said: “If Sweden joins NATO this will affect our relations in a negative way because we will consider that the infrastructure of the military bloc now approaches us from the Swedish side.”

In an interview with Russian state news agency TASS last week, he added: “We will interpret that as an additional threat for Russia and we will think about how to eliminate this threat.”

However, he immediately dismissed the possibility of military action against Sweden, saying it would represent a “hysterical” reaction that the Kremlin would never take.

He said that “only a sick person” would suggest Moscow is ready to launch missile strikes on Stockholm, but also noted that NATO membership would add “simply nil” in the way of defense capability improvements to Sweden.

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We will think about how to eliminate this threat

Vladimir Putin

The Kremlin chief said: “This does not quite mean that we will become hysterical and we will aim our nuclear missiles at Sweden.

“But we will be obliged to undertake something because we see this as an additional threat to Russia.”

Sweden, alongside its neighbour Finland, is currently not a member of NATO with the duo having chosen not to join the alliance in the aftermath of the Second World War. 

But in recent months the election of Donald Trump, combined with unease over Russian actions in the Ukraine and the Baltic, have led to growing calls for Stockholm to sign up. 

A NATO review, carried out by a panel of experts last year, warned that Sweden and Finland should stick together on defence cooperation, meaning either both join NATO or neither does. http://dialog.proquest.c om/professional/professionalne wsstand/docview/1905896537/ fulltext/15BF85934933237C2DB/ 180?accountid=155509&site=prof essionalnewsstand&t:ac=15BF859 34933237C2DB/9&t:cp=maintain/r esultcitationblocksbrief&t:zon eid=transactionalZone<iframe src=”//www.googletagmanager.co m/ns.html?id=GTM-5F22G6” height=”0″ width=”0″ style=”display:none;visibility :hidden”></iframe>

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Putin Vows Military Response to ‘Eliminate NATO Threat’ If Sweden Joins U.S.-Led Alliance

By Damien Sharkov On 6/2/17 at 5:25 AM

https://www.unian.info/world/1 956919-putin-vows-response-to- eliminate-threat-if-sweden-joi ns-nato-media.html

Russia Hints At Massive Buildup to Counter NATO

By Davis
on June 2, 2017 at 6:02pm

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While liberals accused President Donald Trump throughout the campaign, and for the first few months of his presidency, of planning to get close to Russia, in reality the exact opposite has happened — tensions have gotten even higher.

Most recently, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, implied that Russia may begin a massive troop buildup in response to NATO’s deployment of forces in Eastern Europe, The Associated Press reported.

“NATO is building a new military security situation that we cannot ignore, that we should address using our own military instruments,” Grushko said.

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“NATO’s movements will not be left without a response in terms of military planning,” he added, without elaborating.

According to The AP, Grushko’s comments were in response to NATO members sending roughly 4,600 troops to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland over the next few weeks, in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Maybe if the Russians hadn’t invaded Ukraine and illegally annexed a massive chunk of the country, NATO wouldn’t need to boost its forces in other Eastern European countries that are fearing a Russian invasion.

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Reuters reported that Russia has already taken steps to shore up its defenses along its western border, and it is unclear what sort of additional actions might be taken.

Russia still sees NATO as a threat, which was made clear when Russian President Validimir Putin suggested this week that Russia might take military action if Sweden ever joined NATO, Newsweek reported.

“We will interpret that as an additional threat for Russia and we will think about how to eliminate this threat,” Putin stated.

Russia remains a serious threat to the United States, and any sort of troop buildup between NATO and Russia isn’t going to end well for either side.

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Militarily, Russia is much more of a threat than the Islamic State terror group, but right now the terrorist organization is the one that is actually attacking and killing Americans and Europeans.

Hopefully, Russia will come to its senses (but that’s doubtful since, well, it’s Russia) and realize that they can’t go head-to-head with NATO again and expect to win.

We defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We can defeat Russia again if we must, but we really would prefer to do something more constructive with our time.

H/T Defense News

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