Dmitry Peskov: Vladimir Putin discussed with members of the Security Council the expansion of NATO and Ukraine The Russian President discussed at a meeting with members of the Security Council the possible threats from the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, as well as a special operation in Ukraine, the progress of which was reported by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council (via videoconference)
At a meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed possible threats from the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO. This was announced to journalists by the press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov.
“An exchange of views took place on the topic of the decision of Finland and Sweden to join NATO and the potential threats to the security of Russia arising in this connection”, — said a Kremlin spokesman (TASS quote).
The meeting participants also discussed the course of the military special operation in Ukraine. “Along with current issues, Defense Minister [Sergey] Shoigu informed the meeting participants about the progress of the special military operation,” Peskov noted.
“A number of issues were also touched upon in the context of the upcoming CSTO summit on Monday,”— he added.
The Kremlin spokesman said that the meeting was attended by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Deputy Head of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Head of the Presidential Administration Anton Vaino, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, Foreign Intelligence Service Head Sergei Naryshkin and Special Representative Sergey Ivanov, President for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport.
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On May 12, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced the need to immediately apply for the country's entry into NATO. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto explained this decision by the fact that “the hostilities launched by Russia endangered the stability of all of Europe.” Sweden, according to the Expressen newspaper, is going to apply for NATO membership on May 16. Now Sweden and Finland have the status of states— NATO partners. 30 countries are members of the bloc, including Denmark and Norway.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking earlier about Helsinki's desire to become a member of the alliance, said that the Kremlin regards this as a threat. According to him, Moscow's actions will depend on how the “expansion process” will be expressed; and how the alliance's military infrastructure will move.
Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said on May 12 that Sweden and Finland, who want to join NATO, could become Russia's target if alliance troops appear on the territory of these countries. “They know that as soon as they become members of NATO, this will require certain mirror steps from the Russian side,” — he said, calling NATO “an unfriendly bloc”; and the “enemy”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, stated that the raison d'être of NATO is geopolitical confrontation with Russia, therefore, if Finland and Sweden become members of the alliance, they will also become a space of confrontation.
Russia has been conducting a special operation in Ukraine since February 24th. Vladimir Putin called it forced and necessary for “denazification” and “demilitarization” Ukraine, as well as to save its population from “genocide”. The Ministry of Defense stated that it does not strike civilian targets.
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