A top Russian official has told a leading Swedish newspaper that the country would be likely to face military action if it were to join Nato.
Nearly one in three Swedes think the country should join Nato, a major poll suggested last month, up from 29 percent of Swedes in 2013 and 17 percent in 2012.
The shift in public opinion is largely credited to a rising fear in the Nordic country of a potentially aggressive Russia. Sweden’s security service Säpo recently stated that the biggest intelligence threat against the Nordic country in 2014 came from its eastern neighbour.
On Thursday, Russia’s ambassador to Sweden, Viktor Tatarintsev, hit out in an interview with the Dagens Nyheter daily at what he called an “aggressive propaganda campaign” by Swedish media.
However, he underlined that if Sweden were to abandon its alliance neutrality and join the Western military organization, Russia would adopt “counter measures”.
“I don’t think it will become relevant in the near future, even though there has been a certain swing in public opinion. But if it happens there will be counter measures. Putin pointed out that there will be consequences, that Russia will have to resort to a response of the military kind and re-orientate our troops and missiles. The country that joins Nato needs to be aware of the risks it is exposing itself to,” he told DN.
In September 2014 two SU-24 fighter-bombers allegedly entered Swedish airspace in what the former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt called “the most serious aerial incursion by the Russians” in almost a decade.
The following month a foreign submarine was spotted in Swedish waters, although the Swedish military was unable to determine where it came from.
Full article: Russia warns of ‘risks’ should Sweden join Nato (The Local se)