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Vladimir Putin’s ‘strategic mistake’ could result in Finland and Sweden joining NATO by summer – World News

Washington is reportedly banking on growing the western alliance from 30 to 32 members as a direct result of President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

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Vladimir Putin has threatened Sweden and Finland with “military and political consequences” if they join NATO

A “massive strategic error” by Vladimir Putin could result in Finland and Sweden joining NATO as early as the summer, US officials say.

Washington is reportedly banking on growing the western alliance from 30 to 32 members as a direct result of President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

US officials said both Nordic countries took part in talks between NATO foreign ministers last week, where membership was a “talking point and several sessions”. The Times reported.

“How can this be anything but a massive strategic blunder for Putin?” asked a senior American official.

Washington expects Finland’s bid in June, while Sweden will follow soon after. Both are neighboring countries of Russia, which lies directly on the Baltic Sea. Finland also shares an 830-mile land border with Russia.

Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin said it was time her country seriously reconsidered its stance on joining the alliance.







Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin
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STEPHANIE LECOCQ/EPO-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Over the weekend, she said Russia is not the neighbor she once thought it was.

“I think we will have very careful talks, but we don’t take any more time than necessary in this process either, because of course the situation is very serious,” she said.

Similar to Finland, Sweden is conducting a security policy review that is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Magdalena Andersson, the Swedish Prime Minister, said two weeks ago that she “is not in any way ruling out NATO membership”.

While the two countries worked together to reach a national consensus, final decisions would be made independently.

Countries are working together to reach a national consensus, but final decisions will be made independently, officials stress.







Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
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AFP via Getty Images)

In late February, just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin threatened Sweden and Finland with “military and political consequences” if they joined NATO.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said there will be severe impacts on her close Arctic neighbors.

Zakharova said during a press conference: “Finland and Sweden should not base their security on damaging the security of other countries, and joining NATO may have adverse consequences and may have some military and political consequences.”

Speaking to Sky News on Friday, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov reinforced that warning.

“It’s all about mutual deterrence, and should one side – and we consider NATO as one side – be more powerful than the other, particularly in relation to nuclear weapons, then that will be seen as a threat to the entire security architecture and will demand it.” urge us to take additional measures,” he said.

NATO now has 40,000 troops under its direct command in Eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Its armed forces have increased almost tenfold since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.







In Ukraine there were scenes of devastation and sadness
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AFP via Getty Images)

The alliance is making plans for the full-scale deployment of a permanent military force on members’ borders to deter another Russian invasion while adjusting to a “new reality.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Putin’s actions had provoked a “fundamental reshaping” of the military coalition that reflected the long-term consequences of the war in Ukraine.

The strengthening of NATO’s military power would be aimed at enabling countries bordering Russia and Belarus to repel an attempted invasion.

If Finland and Sweden join NATO, Putin is likely to move troops to his northwestern flank, putting further pressure on his stretched military.

European diplomats have said that admitting both countries to NATO would significantly strengthen the group’s capabilities, particularly in relation to intelligence gathering and air force powers.

Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership would mean a deployment to Putin’s north-western flank, further straining his military, which has been badly battered by Ukraine’s resistance and the ongoing conflict.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/vladimir-putins-strategic-blunder-could-26682596 Vladimir Putin's 'strategic mistake' could result in Finland and Sweden joining NATO by summer - World News

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