April 29, 2016
Moscow would respect any decision by Sweden to join NATO, but would take “measures”to respond to the military alliance’s approach to its borders, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned.
“If Sweden decides to join NATO, we won’t think that the Swedes decide to attack us,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter published on April 28.
“However, as the Swedish military infrastructure in this situation would report to NATO supreme command, certainly we would have to take the necessary military-technical measures on our northern boundaries, bearing in mind that there is a military-political bloc on the other side of the border which sees Russia as a threat and wants to deter it in any way it can,” he said.
He said Moscow’s Defense Ministry would determine exactly what measures would be needed.
He added that Moscow is not interested in “stirring up any confrontational military activities” despite a turn toward “Russophobia” in NATO and Sweden, and Stockholm’s decision to join European sanctions against Russia.
Moreover, he said Russia reaffirms each country’s right to decide on its own what forms it wants to choose to ensure its security.
Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS
Original post rferl.org
Finnish Government: Joining NATO Would Cause Major Crisis with Russia
02:11 30.04.2016(updated 02:44 30.04.2016)
A new report issued by the Finnish government finds that joining NATO would not be in the country’s security interests following a public opinion poll showing only 22% of voters want Finland to accede to the Western military alliance.
On Friday, Finland released an official government report suggesting that, if the country were to join NATO, it would lead to a crisis with neighboring Russia.
According to the report prepared for Prime Minister Juha Sipila, NATO membership would incrementally strengthen Finland’s national security posture initially, but would likely trigger a harsh reaction from the Kremlin in light of the ongoing militarization along Russia’s border by the Western alliance. Militarily-neutral Finland shares an 833 mile-long (1340 km) border with Russia.
The report did not dash all prospects of the Nordic country joining the Western military alliance, suggesting that a joint Finnish-Swedish application for NATO membership may be a better strategic option than either country joining alone.
Popular opinion embraces Finland’s peaceful legacy of refusing to associate itself with military alliances. In a recent public opinion poll, over 55% of Finns opposed their country acceding to NATO, while 22% supported the idea.
In recent months, the Obama administration has expanded appropriations to the UN’s Nordic mission four-fold, with troops conducting aggressive military exercises dubbed ‘Cold Response’ on the border of Norway and Russia.
In response to Western saber-rattling, Russia has dispatched warplanes to fly simulated attack passes near US destroyers in the Baltic Sea. In addition to buzzing US destroyers in the Baltic Sea, on Friday a Russian Su-27 jet flew within 25 feet of a US Air Force RC-135 aircraft over the Baltic Sea.
In what some are billing a ‘new Cold War,’ the Kremlin has begun to express its disdain for the American-led policy of encirclement. On Friday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned that if Finland’s neighbor Sweden were to accede to NATO, Moscow would take “necessary military-technical measures” in response.
During the Cold War, Finland maintained positive diplomatic ties with Moscow, despite engaging heavily in economic relations with the United States, suggesting that the country could once again manage to navigate a path of peace between the two superpowers.
From another news source it seems if Sweden joins NATO Russia will deploy Iskander missiles to it’s northern border. Iskander is just one of the many options of missiles Russia has in it’s arsenal. It can deploy much more powerful weapons if it chooses to…..
Iskander (SS-26 Stone)
The Iskander (NATO designation SS-26 Stone) short-range ballistic missile is a successor to the Oka (SS-23 Spider), which was eliminated under the INF Treaty. It was first launched in 1996 and was initially designated by NATO as the SS-X-26. It is considered the most advanced missile of its kind. The Iskander-M missile system was officially adopted by the Russian Army in 2006. Currently Russian Army operates only about 20 of these missile systems. Its export variant, the Iskander-E, was sold to Syria (26 units).
The Iskander road mobile missile system is equipped with two short-range ballistic missiles, which substantially increases firepower of missile units. Each missile can be targeted independently. These missiles are capable of hitting moving targets, as target coordination can be adjusted while the missile is in-flight. The Iskander has several different conventional warheads, including cluster, fuel-air explosive, bunker-busting and electro-magnetic pulse. It can also carry nuclear warheads despite the fact that this will violate INF treaty. Maximum range of fire is 280 km for the export version and 400 km for the Russian Army version. Minimum range is 50 km.
The Iskander was designed to overcome air defense systems. Missile files at supersonic speed, excessively maneuvers in the terminal phase of the flight and releases decoys. In some cases this ballistic missile can be used as an alternative to precision bombing.
|Launcher dimensions and weight|
|Number of missiles||2|
|Combat weight||~ 40 t|
|Missile length||7.2 m|
|Missile diameter||950 mm|
|Missile launching weight||?|
|Warhead weight||480 kg|
|Warhead type||conventional, nuclear|
|Range of fire||400 / 500 km|
|CEP||5 – 7 m|
|Engine power||500 hp|
|Maximum road speed||70 km/h|
|Range||1 000 km|
|Vertical step||~ 0.6 m|
|Trench||~ 2 m|