Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia Rails Against Sweden, Finland NATO Bids

FILE: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks via a videoconference in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, 6.18.2022

Moscow said Wednesday that the NATO summit in Madrid served as proof the alliance was seeking to contain Russia and that it saw Finland and Sweden's NATO bids as a "destabilising" factor.

Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday that "The [NATO] summit in Madrid confirms and consolidates this bloc's policy of aggressive containment of Russia."

Ryabkov added "We consider the expansion of the North Atlantic alliance to be a purely destabilizing factor in international affairs."

Ryabkov said Russia knew what to expect from the summit.

"A new strategic concept will be adopted, where Russia is going to be called a threat to the alliance," he said.

"This has nothing to do with real life. It is the alliance that poses a threat to us."

The Russian statements against NATO come as the alliance's leaders were set Wednesday to invite Finland and Sweden to join after Turkey dropped objections, as the alliance looked to revamp its defenses at a summit dominated by Moscow's intervention in Ukraine.

More than four months after Russia sent troops to Ukraine, upending the European security landscape, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called the Madrid summit a "historic and transformative summit" for the alliance's future.