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The President of Finland called cold-blooded conversation with Putin about NATO

Finnish President Niinistö: conversation with Putin was calm and cool Putin was “surprisingly calm” about the conversation with Niinistö about Finland's prospects in NATO, the president said. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow would take steps of a “military-technical nature” jpg” alt=”President of Finland called cold-blooded conversation with Putin about NATO” />

Sauli Niinistö and Vladimir Putin

During a conversation with the Russian President about the prospect of Finland joining NATO, Vladimir Putin “did not repeat the threats from his subordinates”, the conversation took place in a calm manner, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said in an interview with CNN.

“In general the discussion was very calm and cool <…> it was surprising that he took it calmly, & mdash; appreciated the President of Finland.

Ninisto added that one should be careful and careful, despite any statements by the Russian authorities.

The President of Finland explained that he called his Russian colleague for a frank conversation about what is happening, since the country does not intend to “quietly disappear around the corner.” He announced this earlier on May 15 during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sanna Marin, MTV Uutiset reported. He said that he was worried about possible “military-technical measures” countermeasures, which were mentioned in the warnings of Moscow.

The President of Finland gave several possible explanations why this time the reaction of the Russian side was more restrained than before. First, he said, Moscow was following the cooperation between Helsinki and NATO and could understand that the parties were already cooperating as closely as possible for the country— partner of the alliance, or Moscow wants to avoid public discussion of this topic. Finally, Niinistö continued, the Russian authorities may indeed take a more relaxed view on the matter.

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Marin added that “everything has changed”; and now in Helsinki they see “a completely different Russia” than before the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. Finland cannot count on Russia to pursue a peaceful policy, she said. “Finland's decision to join NATO was made so that there would never be a new war in Finland,” — emphasized Marin.

The conversation between the Finnish and Russian presidents took place on Saturday, May 14. Putin considered the decision of the country's authorities a mistake, recalling that the country had previously adhered to neutrality. He also assured that Russia does not pose a threat. “Such a change in the country's foreign policy may have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish relations,” — suggested the Russian president. At the same time, its representative Dmitry Peskov called the prospect of Finland joining NATO an unconditional threat to Russia.

The Foreign Ministry warned that in such a scenario, Moscow “would be forced to take retaliatory steps, both military-technical and other in nature, in in order to stop the threats to its national security arising in this regard. Dmitry Polyansky, Russia's Deputy Chairman to the UN, said that with the deployment of NATO units in Sweden and Finland, their territories could become possible targets for strikes.

Against this background, Finland agreed with the UK to provide mutual assistance in the event of an attack. This assistance may include military means, the declaration of the parties said. The Finnish government emphasized that they were not afraid of the likely consequences. “It's our choice, we shouldn't limit ourselves to wiggle room because of threats,” — said the country's Minister for European Affairs and Property Management Tyutti Tuppurainen.

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Sweden followed Finland in joining NATO

If approved, Stockholm intends to achieve non-deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases of the alliance in the country, the ruling party of Sweden said. The leaders of other parties approved the submission of an application to NATO Finland decided to join NATO” />

Sweden has officially decided to apply to join NATO, the ruling Social Democratic Party (S/SAP) said in a statement.

&laquo The party will work to get Sweden to apply for NATO membership. Thus, the Social Democrats will seek to ensure that Sweden, in the event that the NATO application is approved, expresses unilateral reservations against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory, — said in the message.

The Prime Minister of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson, explained at a press conference that the country's neutrality had previously served well, but in the future such a policy would not be useful, SVT reports. She added that she did not want Russia's actions following Ukraine to be directed against Sweden.

“If Sweden became the only non-NATO country in the Baltic Sea region, we would be in a vulnerable position,” — she stressed, expressing her hope that the application will be submitted as soon as possible.

Aftonbladet, citing a source, said that the Swedish authorities have already prepared the application, but Stockholm intends to send it at the same time together with the Finnish side. According to Aftonbladet, the government will make a formal decision at an extraordinary meeting on Monday, May 16, after a debate in parliament.

The Social Democrats have more seats in the Swedish parliament than other political forces (100 out of 349) and formed a minority government, all cabinet ministers are members of the Social Democratic Party.

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A number of leaders of other factions in the Swedish Parliament approved the position of the Social Democratic Party. Chapter of the Moderates Ulf Kristersson stated that “with pleasure” learned of this news, his faction is the second largest in the Swedish Parliament.

The head of the Christian Democrats Ebba Bush called the decision wise, “though much overdue.” “We Christian Democrats have long been in favor of NATO membership,” — Bush wrote on Twitter.

Sweden's Liberal Party noted on Twitter that security these days is built within alliances, not outside of them, with Stockholm's security dependent on neighboring countries. “Sweden cannot isolate itself from the outside world. So it's good that Sweden is also joining the broad parliamentary majority to do what Finland does,” — party statement says.

A similar decision was made by the Government of Finland on the same day, 15 May. Helsinki will submit a formal application after consultations in parliament, the Finnish Foreign Ministry said that this will happen on May 18. The decision of the Finnish authorities was prompted by Russia's actions in Ukraine, Minister Pekka Haavisto explained. “Unpredictable behavior of Russia” this is an inevitable problem. Russia is ready to carry out very risky operations for itself.».— he said in early May.

Western countries have announced their intention to approve applications from Finland and Sweden. The Alliance will explore ways to ensure the security of these countries before they are accepted into its membership, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced. He clarified that one of the options is to increase the military presence in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the “potential threats arising in this regard” against the backdrop of discussions about the prospects for Scandinavian countries to join NATO. with the National Security Council. He called Finland's decision to become a member of the alliance a mistake. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that Moscow would be forced to take military-technical measures.

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The United States announced the reflection of the deterrence of “aggression” of Russia in the NATO concept

The US Secretary of State warned that NATO's updated strategic concept would reflect a policy of deterring “any aggression” from Russia. Bloomberg wrote that the alliance could call Moscow's actions a direct threat in the document

Anthony Blinken

The new strategic concept of NATO will fully reflect the deterrence of any manifestation of “aggression”; Russia, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said during a press conference in Berlin following the meeting of the foreign ministers of the alliance countries. The broadcast was conducted on YouTube.

“The basis of NATO, the basis of the strategic concept is the concept of defense and deterrence. This led to the formation of the alliance. And this includes, among other things, the containment of any aggression on the part of Russia,»,— said Blinken.

Strategic Concept— NATO's flagship document, last updated in November 2010.

“It will identify the security challenges facing the Alliance and outline the political and military tasks that NATO will undertake to address them.” ,— stated on the website of the alliance.

NATO also indicates that over the past ten years, “the world has changed radically”, strategic competition has grown.

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According to Bloomberg, NATO may designate Moscow's actions as a direct threat if Russian foreign policy does not change. The countries of the alliance also touch upon the topic of providing assistance to those states that have been subjected to aggression, the interlocutors of the agency said.

“The new NATO strategic concept will become the basis for an era of strategic rivalry,” announced the secretary general of the organization Jens Stoltenberg on May 15.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during the announcement of the start of a special operation in Ukraine, said that the expansion of NATO to the east causes “special concern and alarm”. In his opinion, the alliance has become “an instrument of foreign policy”; Washington. In mid-March, the Foreign Ministry announced that relations between Russia and NATO had reached a “zero mark”, accusing the bloc of suspending military and civilian cooperation with the Russian side since 2014 and ignoring Moscow's security concerns.

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Kadyrov urged Erdogan not to save “godless” from “Azovstal”

The Azov fighters mocked Islam and insulted its values, and therefore Ankara's proposal to evacuate them from Mariupol is acutely perceived by Muslims, Kadyrov said. Turkey proposes to take them across the Black Sea to Istanbul

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In Chechnya, they announced the death of seven US citizens in a special operation in Ukraine

Seven Americans who fought on the side of Ukraine as part of the special forces were killed in the Donbass, the Chechen authorities said. The State Department previously said that one of them is alive and safe

Rubezhnoye

Seven American citizens who fought on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as part of special forces were killed in the Ukrainian city of Rubezhnoye, RIA Novosti said. assistant to the head of Chechnya on the security bloc Apta Alaudinov.

He clarified that US citizens died as a result of the battle at the Dye Plant, one of them was named Joseph Ward Clark. “They were fixed by us, and they all departed to another world, leaving behind Javelins, documents and their weapons,” — Alaudinov reported.

A month earlier, on April 14, Clark's documents were published by the Minister of Information and Press of Chechnya, Akhmed Dudayev. He posted on VKontakte video showing the passport of a US citizen named Joseph Ward Clark.

Dudayev claimed that the passport belonged to one of the “representatives” of the US intelligence agencies that “work on the territory of Donbass and are engaged in the destruction of the civilian population.” “They all find shelter here in the Ukrainian land, the so-called,” added the Chechen minister.

On the same day, the State Department called reports of Clark's death or capture untrue. “I'm limited in what I can say due to privacy concerns, but I have reason to believe this person is safe,” — said department spokesman Ned Price.

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The US administration then recommended that US citizens refrain from traveling to Ukraine and not participate in hostilities. “We know that people want to help, but we urge Americans to find other ways to do it, — urged the representative of the White House Jen Psaki.

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The President of Finland doubted the possibility of a “Russian attack”

Niinistö said that he did not believe in a scenario in which Russia would attack Finland – not before, not now. On the eve of Helsinki, they officially decided to join NATO, Putin called such a step erroneous ” alt=”The President of Finland doubted the possibility of a “Russian attack”” />

Sauli Niinistö

Finland used to be neutral, but now Europe is divided and there are not many options left to remain non-bloc, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told CNN. Video posted on YouTube.

“I don't believe they planned any attack against Finland, then or now,” — added Niinistö.

The Finnish President also said that he called Russian President Vladimir Putin for a frank conversation to announce his intention to apply for membership in NATO. The conversation with Putin was calm and cool, Niinistö said, calling it surprising. The Russian president did not “repeate the threats from his subordinates,” calling the Helsinki decision a mistake, he continued. At the same time, the Finnish president noted that despite the words of the Russian authorities, one should be careful and attentive.

During a press conference, he said there could be several reasons for Moscow's calm reaction. First of all, Russia followed the cooperation between Finland and NATO and could notice that both sides are already cooperating as closely as the status of an alliance partner country allows, Niinistö suggested. In addition, he continued, the Russian authorities may not want public discussion of this topic among the inhabitants of the country, or in fact take this topic more calmly.

The Finnish authorities announced on May 15 that the country will apply to NATO after consultations in Parliament, which will be held the next day on Monday, May 16. The conversation between Putin and Niinistö took place the day before— May 14. The Russian president considered Helsinki's decision a mistake, noting that Finland had previously been neutral and Russia was not a threat. According to Putin, such a change of course in foreign policy could “negatively affect Russian-Finnish relations. At the same time, its representative Dmitry Peskov called the prospect of Finland joining NATO an unconditional threat to Russia.

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If Finland joins NATO, Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned. These will be measures “both of a military-technical and other nature in order to stop the threats arising in this regard,” the ministry explained. If NATO units are deployed on Finnish and Swedish territory, it can become a possible target for a strike, said Dmitry Polyansky, Deputy Chairman of Russia to the UN.

Against this background, Helsinki agreed in London to provide mutual support in the event of an attack on one of sides. This assistance, the joint declaration says, may include military means. At the same time, the Finnish government noted that they were not afraid of the possible consequences of joining the alliance. “It's our choice, we shouldn't limit ourselves to wiggle room because of threats,” — emphasized the Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Property Management Tytti Tuppurainen.

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Zakharova considered Ukraine’s victory at Eurovision “a humiliation of Europe”

Ukraine's victory at Eurovision showed that “humiliating Europe is now in trend,” said Maria Zakharova. According to her, this demonstrated the attitude towards Europe of Washington and “NATO structures” jpg” alt=”Zakharova considered Ukraine's victory at Eurovision “a humiliation of Europe”” />

Eurovision Song Contest showed that humiliating Europe is now in trend, said the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, on the air of “Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov” on the TV channel “Russia 1”. She posted the video on her Telegram channel.

“If they told me that what won won, I would probably ridicule. Because it is so obvious and already so indecent that it seemed to me that the European Broadcasting Corporation and the organizers would not allow them to be humiliated like that. But it turns out that humiliating Europe is now in trend, — said Zakharova.

According to her, this was a manifestation of destructive “soft power”; and demonstrated the policy of Washington and “NATO structures” in relation to Europe.

«Soft power»— a form of political power that involves promoting interests through voluntary participation.

Earlier, Zakharova said that for a complete picture of what is happening around Ukraine, her victory at Eurovision was not enough. “National costumes and musical instruments, two Baba Yagas on strings, break dance and chants about Azovstal. Europe applauds standing. Curtain»,— she remarked with irony.

Musicians of the Ukrainian folk rap group Kalush Orchestra with the song Stefania won Eurovision 2022, which was held in Turin, Italy. Ukraine received the maximum number of points from the jury of Poland, Moldova, Latvia, Romania, Lithuania. According to the results of the jury voting, Ukraine scored 192 points. Thanks to the viewers, the group received another 439 points.

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Great Britain took second place (466 points), third— Spain (459). Russia did not participate in the contest this year.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated the Kalush Orchestra on their victory and promised to do everything so that one day the contest would be held in a “free and peaceful” city. Mariupol.

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In Belarus, they announced a decrease in exports by $ 18 billion due to sanctions

Western sanctions have blocked almost all exports of Belarusian goods to North America and the EU, Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said. He said that Minsk would redirect this volume of supplies to the markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Roman Golovchenko (foreground)

Due to economic sanctions imposed against Belarus, almost all exports Minsk to the EU and North America was blocked. Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko stated this in an interview with Al Arabiya TV channel.

“This amount per year is about $16-18 billion. Naturally, we cannot lose this volume of exports and must reorient it to other markets, including Asian, African, the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf. This is what we are currently working on,— he said (quote from BelTa).

According to the prime minister, Minsk interprets sanctions as “a tool not just of pressure, but of hybrid aggression”, the goal of restrictions, according to Golovchenko— “bring the country to its knees, strangle it economically and achieve by force the fulfillment of some requirements or conditions.”

After the presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020, the EU countries and the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions against Minsk, which affected officials, the country's public debt, state-owned companies, including Belavia; and Belorusneft. In addition, restrictions against Belarus by the EU, the US, the UK and other states were tightened after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine on February 24. They touched upon the energy and transport sectors, the financial and other sectors, and visa policy.

In particular, within the framework of the fifth package of EU sanctions against Russia, the EU imposed a ban on the import of potassium chloride from Belarus through its territory. In addition, on April 8, the Russian Federal Customs Service announced that the EU countries had stopped letting trucks registered in Russia and Belarus; the ban did not apply to trucks that transport pharmaceutical, medical, food and agricultural products, energy carriers, non-ferrous metals and fertilizers. In response, the government of Belarus banned cars and tractors from crossing the customs border of the EAEU.

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko assured that his country is not going to take part in the Russian military operation in Ukraine. According to him, Russia and Belarus are able to cope with the consequences of restrictions and teach other countries “how to overcome sanctions.” According to Lukashenka, the sanctions period— this is “a time of opportunity”.

The head of the Ministry of Economic Development of Belarus, Alexander Chervyakov, previously called Western sanctions “economic genocide.” The purpose of the restrictions, according to him, is “completely destroy a number of industries that are key to our economy.”

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Delegations of the Public Chamber were not allowed to participate in the OSCE meeting

The organization, which this year is headed by Poland, has withdrawn the accreditation of the delegation. The chamber condemned the decision and emphasized that they submitted an application in accordance with all the rules. The accreditation was withdrawn when the public had already flown to Vienna

Poland is chairing the OSCE this year. The Chamber condemned the decision of the organizer of the meeting— OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). The organization emphasized that they had issued accreditation for their representatives in accordance with the rules, and the organizers themselves confirmed their right to participate in the conference. The accreditation was withdrawn only when the delegation from the chamber had already flown to Vienna. Poland, as the chair country, and the organizers themselves, “ignored” sent requests and did not specify the reason for such a decision, the chamber said.

Meeting on the theme “Functioning of democratic institutions in times of crisis” will take place on 16 and 17 May in Vienna. The Civic Chamber noted that they were going to tell colleagues from other countries about the experience of Russian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), whose activities are related to local self-government, freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, as well as about “best practices for developing democratic institutions”; in Russia.

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Sweden says NATO membership is not directed against Russia

Sweden, following Finland, announced that it intends to join NATO. The Cabinet of Ministers of the country stated that this decision is the best for the security of Sweden, it is not directed against Russia

Magdalena Andersson

Swedish's decision to apply for NATO membership was made in order to secure the country, told Aftonbladet newspaper head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry Ann Linde.

“This decision is not directed against Russia”,— she emphasized.

Her point of view was supported by the Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson: “We, the Social Democrats, believe that the best thing for the country's security would be joining NATO.” “If Sweden becomes the only non-NATO country in the Baltic Sea region, we will be in a vulnerable position,” — quotes her SVT.

According to Andersson, Sweden should apply to join NATO along with Finland, and this must be done “as soon as possible.” Countries need to get security guarantees from bloc members, the politician added.

Andersson said the world's security situation has changed since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine; she did not rule out that “similar aggression could be directed against Sweden.”

The ruling Social Democratic Party (S/SAP) announced its official decision to join NATO on the evening of 15 May. According to Aftonbladet, the Swedish authorities have already prepared a corresponding application, in Stockholm they intend to send it along with the Finnish side.

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Finland announced similar plans on the same day. As Helsinki said, the country will submit an application to NATO after consultations in Parliament, which will be held on Monday, May 16.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Security Council, where they discussed possible risks in connection with the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO; He considered Helsinki's decision to join the bloc erroneous. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Moscow views such a scenario as a threat, and Russia's actions will depend on how the “expansion process” will be expressed; and how the alliance's military infrastructure will move.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised in early April that if Helsinki and Stockholm want to join the alliance, they will promptly receive a positive response. The desire of Finland and Sweden to join NATO was supported by the United States, while Turkey did not see this as a positive. According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Scandinavian countries are “a guest house for terrorists” (he is referring to the PKK, banned in Turkey). At the same time, Ankara stated that they support the principle of “open doors”; in NATO.

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Zelensky replaced the commander of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Zelensky appointed Igor Tantsyura commander of the Territorial Defense Forces. By another decree, Zelensky dismissed the commander of the unit, Yuri Galushkin. The President created the Territorial Defense Forces on January 1

President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky appointed Major General Igor Tantsyura as commander of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of the country (APU), follows from the text of the decree, which is published on the website of the head of state.

“To appoint Major General Tantsyur Igor Ivanovich as Commander of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, — said in document.

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The head of the Pentagon told the head of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine about the conversation with Shoigu

Last week, the US and Russian defense ministers held their first telephone conversation since the beginning of the military operation in Ukraine. Austin called on Shoigu to immediately end the conflict and “emphasized the importance of maintaining channels of communication” jpg” alt=”The chief of the Pentagon told the head of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine about the conversation with Shoigu” />

Lloyd Austin

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Alexei Reznikov to discuss the situation in the country, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

During the conversation, Austin “provided an update on his telephone conversation with the Russian Defense Secretary Sergei Shoigu on May 13, in which he called for an immediate end to the conflict in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining channels of communication,” the Pentagon said.

Austin stressed that the United States supports Ukraine's sovereignty and security assistance efforts “to strengthen Ukraine's ability to counter Russian aggression,” the ministry added.

The talks between Shoigu and Austin were the first since the start of the Russian military operation Ukraine February 24. As stated in the Russian defense department, they were held at the initiative of the United States, the parties discussed the situation in Ukraine and “topical issues of international security.”

Before that, the ministers called on February 18; then Austin called on Shoigu to withdraw Russian troops from the Ukrainian border.

In late March, Kirby reported that since the beginning of the Russian military operation, Austin and the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, had repeatedly tried to arrange a telephone conversation with Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov, but to no avail. Then Austin himself announced this. The Pentagon complained that “there was no interest from the Russians” to two-way contacts.

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Austin and Reznikov have been in regular contact since the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. One of the last conversations took place on May 13; they discussed the law signed in the United States on assistance to Ukraine under the Lend-Lease program and its implementation.

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The Kremlin saw a reason for analysis in the situation with Sweden, Finland and NATO

Dmitry Peskov: Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO is a reason for a very deep analysis According to Peskov, Moscow will analyze the current events, but is already convinced that NATO expansion will not strengthen Europe's security https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/8/58/756526957084588.jpg” alt=”The Kremlin saw a reason for analysis in the situation with Sweden, Finland and NATO” />

Dmitry Peskov < p>Moscow will monitor the situation with joining the North Atlantic Alliance, said the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov in response to a question about how Vladimir Putin reacted to this decision of the Scandinavian countries.

“We will be watching very closely what will happen, we are carefully recording all statements,” — Peskov said (quote from Interfax).

Peskov called the situation “a reason for a very deep analysis of possible consequences,” and also noted Moscow's conviction that the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO is not will improve the architecture of security on our continent.

At the same time, as the Kremlin representative pointed out, Russia has no territorial disputes with Finland and Sweden, while in the case of Ukraine, if it joined NATO, “Russia would have a territorial dispute with a state that participates in the alliance,” pointed out Peskov.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry called the decision of Sweden and Finland to join NATO “a grave mistake with far-reaching consequences.” The department indicated that Russia will decide how to ensure its security, based on the practical consequences of the entry of the two countries into the alliance.

Stockholm and Helsinki, which previously adhered to a policy of military neutrality, officially announced their intention to become members of NATO on 15 May. In Sweden, this decision was explained by the fact that the country does not want Russia's actions following Ukraine to be directed against Sweden. It is going to become a NATO member with a clause not to deploy nuclear weapons and permanent bases on its territory.

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Finland indicated that the country will apply to join the alliance after consultations with parliament on May 16. The terms of entry were not specified. Before that, the Finnish authorities indicated that the country would become a member of the alliance, “so that there would never be a new war in Finland.”

Putin said that he considered Finland's entry into NATO a mistake, since there were no threats to the country's security.< /p>

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised that the process of accepting new members will be accelerated, and the security of the two states will be ensured during this transitional period. German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock also stressed that Sweden and Finland “will be able to join quickly”, and the NATO countries “should give them security guarantees”.

There are disagreements about joining the alliance both within these two countries as well as in NATO. Two Swedish parties, as well as Turkey and Croatia, opposed it.

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Peskov called the differences between Ukraine and Sweden with Finland in NATO

Russia has no territorial disputes with Finland and Sweden. If Ukraine became a member of NATO, then Moscow would have a territorial dispute, which carries huge, huge risks for the entire continent, Peskov explained

Dmitry Peskov

Possible entry of Ukraine into NATO could lead to territorial dispute between Russia and a state that is part of the alliance. Russia has no territorial disputes with Sweden and Finland. This was stated by the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, TASS reports.

“We have no territorial disputes with either Finland or Sweden. While Ukraine could potentially become a NATO member, and then Russia would have a territorial dispute with a state that participates in the alliance, which carries huge, huge risks for the entire continent, — Peskov explained.

The Kremlin believes that the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will not strengthen the security architecture in Europe. At the same time, Peskov noted that the entry of the Scandinavian countries into the alliance— this is a very serious matter and Russia will be watching closely what the implications for its security will be.

Sweden and Finland officially announced on 15 May that they were going to apply to join NATO. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Sweden's neutrality “has served her well” but that such a policy would not be useful going forward as Stockholm fears threats from Moscow. The ruling Social Democratic Party of Sweden indicated that the application to the alliance would be submitted with the proviso “against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory.”

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced at a joint press conference that the country would apply for NATO membership “after consulting parliament” on 16 May.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the process of accepting Sweden and Finland into the bloc will be accelerated, but it will still take some time. During this period, the alliance will consider ways to ensure the security of both countries.

In June 2020, Ukraine became a member of the NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partnership. The status gave the country wider access to the programs and exercises of the North Atlantic Alliance, however, its award does not mean any decisions on the issue of NATO membership.

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TRT announces refusal of Finland and Sweden to extradite ‘terrorists’ to Turkey

The authorities did not receive a single positive response to the extradition request for 33 individuals. The residence of members of the PKK and FETO banned in Turkey in Sweden and Finland is the reason why Ankara opposes the membership of these countries in NATO

Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden and Finland did not agree to extradite 33 members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Hizmet movement to Ankara at its request; (FETO), recognized as terrorist in Turkey, according to TRT Haber.

According to the channel, 19 requests for extradition were rejected, five were not answered, and the process for the remaining nine is ongoing. 12 citizens whose extradition is required by the Turkish authorities are in Finland, 21— in Sweden.

On May 13, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Scandinavian countries are “guest houses for terrorist organizations”: PKK members live in Sweden and the Netherlands and even participate in parliament there. In this regard, Erdogan does not positively assess the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

According to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, in a personal telephone conversation, Erdogan told him that he was not against the country's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance. He asked the Turkish authorities to clarify their position. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu then stressed that Ankara is committed to NATO's open door policy, but cannot ignore “concrete findings about supporting terrorism.” on the territory of the two candidate states.

On May 15, Sweden and Finland announced their official decision to apply for NATO membership.

The leader of the European Parliament's largest faction, the European People's Party, Manfred Weber, warned that there was no apparent reason to delay or block the entry of countries into the alliance, and those who would impede this process would be “isolated within the Commonwealth.”

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