Putin warns Russia will respond if NATO strengthens Sweden and Finland militarily

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by Karen Faulkner, Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Russian President Vladimir warned the West Monday that would “certainly” respond if the capabilities of Sweden and Finland are bolstered following their decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (), Reuters reports.

Citing the expansion of NATO as justification for his ongoing illegal invasion of , Putin considers such expansion to be a tool of aggression toward Russia, particularly in the hands of the US.

In a Kremlin address to the leaders of the Collective Treaty Organization, a military alliance that includes Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, Putin said he had no problem with either Sweden or Finland, but that their inclusion in NATO would “certainly provoke our response,” Reuters reports.

“What that (response) will be – we will see what threats are created for us. Problems are being created for no reason at all. We shall react accordingly.”

While Putin did not explain what such a response would entail, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an earlier address that Russia would not sit back and tolerate a Nordic expansion of NATO, Reuters said.

Founded in 1949, NATO is a collective security system comprising a military alliance between 30 countries – 28 European states plus America and . Under the treaty, member states agree to defend each other against attacks by non-member countries, especially Russia. According to Putin, NATO’s “endless expansion policy” has reached intolerably far beyond its original -Atlantic remit.

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