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Sweden is summoning its Russian ambassador to capital Stockholm after the official made oblique threats of the country’s future if it joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Russian Ambassador Viktor Tatarintsev said Sweden would become a “legitimate target” of Russian military forces if it joins NATO, according to the Moscow Times.
SWEDEN’S PRIME MINISTER BELIEVES IT IS LIKELY FINLAND WILL JOIN NATO BEFORE HIS COUNTRY
Victor Ivanovitj Tatarintsev attends Prince Julian’s baptism outside Drottningholm Castle Chapel on Aug. 14, 2021 in Stockholm. (Rune Hellestad/Getty Images)
“If anyone still believes that this [NATO membership] in any way will somehow improve Europe’s security, you can be sure that the new members of the hostile bloc will become a legitimate target for Russian retaliatory measures, including military ones,” the ambassador wrote in an official statement.
The message was posted via the Russian embassy’s official media.
WEIGHING NATO APPLICATIONS, HUNGARY TO SEND DIPLOMATS TO SWEDEN, FINLAND
Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, left, and Oscar Stenstroem, ambassador in the cabinet preparation and chief negotiator in the NATO process, hold a press briefing on the NATO process in Stockholm. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT News Agency via AP)
The warning went on to state that Sweden is “taking a step towards the abyss” by seeking to join NATO, not becoming more safe.
Tatarintsev has been summoned to Stockholm for a meeting with the Swedish government.
“The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will summon the Russian ambassador to make a clear statement against this blatant attempt at influence,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Tobias Billstrom.
FINLAND’S PARLIAMENT GIVES FINAL APPROVAL FOR COUNTRY TO JOIN NATO WITH 184-7 VOTE
The NATO logo is pictured inside the new North Atlantic Council meeting room at the new NATO headquarters during a press tour of the facilities. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)
“Sweden’s security policy is determined by Sweden — no one else,” he added.
Earlier this month, Sweden’s prime minister acknowledged that it is likely that neighbor Finland will join NATO before his country does, due to Turkey’s opposition to the Swedish bid.
Ulf Kristersson said during a news conference in Stockholm on Tuesday that it has been clear since NATO’s Madrid summit in June that Finland’s road into membership has been smoother than Sweden’s, and that it is now increasingly likely that Finland will enter NATO first.
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Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, left, receives Barzani Charity Foundation President Musa Ahmad in Ankara, Turkiye. (Murat Gok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Turkey accuses both nations, but particularly Sweden, of being too soft on groups it deems to be terror organizations or existential threats to Turkey, including Kurdish groups.
Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara has fewer problems with Finland joining.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]