Vladimir Putin Condemns NATO's 'Imperial Ambitions' As Finland, Sweden Fast-Track Membership

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he has "no problem" with neighbors Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but signaled there might be more tensions in the future.

What Happened: Putin criticized NATO’s "imperial ambitions" and bid to "assert supremacy" while speaking to reporters in the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat on Wednesday.

He said, "there is nothing that could bother us about Sweden and Finland joining NATO…If Finland and Sweden wish to, they can join. That's up to them. They can join whatever they want," according to the Daily Mail.

However, he issued fresh warnings to NATO, saying Russia would respond symmetrically to the U.S.-alliance plans of boosting troops on the eastern flank by almost 4,000 compared to March this year.

"If military contingents and military infrastructure were deployed there, we would be obliged to respond symmetrically and raise the same threats for those territories where threats have arisen for us," he said.

Putin added that "the NATO countries' leaders wish to... assert their supremacy, their imperial ambitions."

That came after the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed with his Finnish and Swedish counterparts on a series of security measures to allow the two Nordic nations to progress in their bid to join NATO.

'Territorial Difference' With Ukraine

Putin tried to defend his action in Ukraine by calling it a "territorial difference."

"We don't have problems with Sweden and Finland as we do with Ukraine," he said.

"We don't have territorial differences…But they should understand that they didn't face any threats before this."

Putin, however, added, "Everything was going fine between us, and now there will be tensions."

Read Next: Vladimir Putin's 'Hardline Mouthpiece' Mocks Boris Johnson: 'Not Macho Enough, Scared To Declare War On Russia'

Photo via Vitalii Vodolazskyi on Shutterstock

 

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalMediaGeneralEurasiaFinlandNATORussia-Ukraine WarSwedenVladimir Putin
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