14 May 2022

Moscow will respond if NATO moves nuclear forces closer to Russia's border

10:09 pm on 14 May 2022

Moscow will take adequate precautionary measures if NATO deploys nuclear forces and infrastructure closer to Russia's border, Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying on Saturday.

A street sign announces the Finnish-Russian Imatra border crossing, in Imatra, south-eastern Finland, on 13 May, 2022.

A sign at Imatra in south-eastern Finland announces a Finnish-Russian border crossing. Finland says it plans to apply for NATO membership. Photo: ALESSANDRO RAMPAZZO

"It will be necessary to respond ... by taking adequate precautionary measures that would ensure the viability of deterrence," Interfax agency quoted Grushko as saying.

Moscow had no hostile intentions towards Finland and Sweden and did not see "real" reasons for those two countries to be joining the NATO alliance, Grushko added.

He also reiterated the Kremlin's earlier statement that Moscow's response to NATO's possible expansion would depend on how close the alliance moved military assets towards Russia and what infrastructure it deployed.

Finland's plan to apply for NATO membership, announced on Thursday, and the expectation that Sweden will follow, would bring about the expansion of the Western military alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed to prevent.

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