NATO comments on military bases in Sweden and Finland
NATO has said that it has no plans to establish bases in Sweden and Finland, which are both in the process of joining the US-led military bloc.
“We don’t plan to have an additional presence in either country, they have formidable national forces. They’re capable of defending themselves,” NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana told AFP on Tuesday.
Geoana said, “we don’t plan to have NATO bases in these two countries, because they have a very high level of military and strategic maturity.”
The two Nordic states decided to drop their longstanding tradition of non-alignment and join NATO after Russia sent troops into Ukraine in late February.
On Tuesday, the Swedish and Finnish foreign ministers signed the accession protocols. Accession for the countries now has to be approved by the parliaments of the bloc’s 30 members.
Russia has repeatedly complained that NATO’s expansion undermines the security of Europe.
President Vladimir Putin cited the bloc’s attempt to set up “a foothold” in Ukraine as one of the causes of Moscow’s actions in the neighboring state.
Putin said last week that Moscow will have a “mirrored response” to NATO if it deploys “military units and infrastructure” to Sweden or Finland.