Saturday, August 13, 2022

Russia Sends Bone-Chilling Message To Sweden & Finland; Threatens ‘Military Implications’ If They Go The Ukraine Way

Amid the ongoing Russian military operations in Ukraine, the country’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that Moscow will have to respond if Sweden and Finland become NATO members. 

“All OSCE member states in their national capacity, including Finland and Sweden, have reaffirmed the principle that the security of one country cannot be built at the expense of the security of others.

Obviously, the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, which is primarily a military alliance as you well understand, would have serious military and political consequences, which would require our country to make response steps,” Zakharova told a briefing.

On Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg invited Sweden and Finland to attend a NATO virtual summit on the situation in and around Ukraine on Friday. On the same day, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that Finland will be ready to join NATO “if the issue of national security becomes acute.”

Nuclear Conflict? 

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier stated that Ukraine may obtain tactical nuclear weapons as it has more capabilities than Iran and North Korea. He recalled Kiev’s desire to once again become the nuclear power.

“It is quite dangerous for a number of reasons. Firstly, during the long years of Soviet power and being a part of the Soviet Union, the capabilities to create such weapons, not only weapons but also their launchers, were built up there [in Ukraine],” Shoigu told a meeting of the Russian Security Council.

Russia MiG-29
File Image: Russia MiG-29

The minister noted that tactical nuclear weapons are deployed in Germany, so these sorts of weapons may appear in Ukraine as well and would “be deployed on launchers that already exist today.” The minister recalled the Tactical Operational Missile Complex “Tochka,” and said that tactical nuclear warheads “can be easily deployed” on these missile systems.

He highlighted that Ukraine “has the equipment, technologies, specialists,” that “are much greater than those of Iran and North Korea,” which the world community is trying to denuclearize.

Russian President Vladimir Putin then stated that Ukraine creating nuclear weapons would radically change the situation in the world adding that it is a “real danger” and not just a bravado.

“It will be much easier for Ukraine to acquire tactical nuclear weapons than for some other states which are actually conducting such developments. Especially in the case of technological support from abroad. And we shouldn’t rule this out either. With the appearance of weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine, the situation in the world, in Europe, especially for us, for Russia, will change in the most radical way. We cannot fail to respond to this real danger,” Putin said during his address to the nation.

According to Putin, Kiev’s statements on obtaining nuclear weapons is a real possibility, given that Ukraine still has a number of technologies, including means of delivery, left from the USSR.

Joe_Biden_and_Vladimir_Putin_in_Geneva,
File Image: Biden and Putin

France Responds

On Thursday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that Russian President Vladimir Putin should keep in mind that NATO possesses nuclear weapons. France is one of the five countries formally considered to have nuclear status under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, on par with Russia, China, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Nuclear weapon is a weapon of deterrence. It is not a weapon intended for use. We tried deterrence by various means, and we continue to do it since the dialogue with Putin, as we saw yesterday, was not stopped. The president of the republic [Emmanuel Macron] has made efforts again and called Putin to urge him to stop the military attack,” Parly told French radio broadcaster RTL.

russia-france
File Image: Putin and Macron

Now, French Defense Minister Florence Parly clarified the French stance and said that the nuclear weapons of France are for deterrence only and never intended for actual use.

“Nuclear weapon is a weapon of deterrence. It is not a weapon intended for use. We tried deterrence by various means, and we continue to do it since the dialogue with Putin, as we saw yesterday, was not stopped. The president of the republic [Emmanuel Macron] has made efforts again and called Putin to urge him to stop the military attack,” Parly told French radio broadcaster RTL.

In the early hours of Thursday, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk requested assistance to defend themselves from attacks by the Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the operation was targeting the military infrastructure of Ukraine and the civilian population was not in danger. Moscow says it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.

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