Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Sweden summons Russian ambassador after NATO threat

Sweden’s foreign ministry on Friday summoned Russia’s ambassador after Moscow threatened retaliatory measures if the Scandinavian country joined NATO. Viktor Tatarintsev “is expected to come today” at Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s request, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said. “We are an independent state and we make our own security policy decisions independently … We do not accept threats and I have summoned the Russian ambassador to ask questions and get an explanation,” Wallstrom told journalists. She was reacting to comments by Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who said Moscow would take “retaliatory measures” if Sweden were to join NATO. “Swedish membership in NATO would have politico-military and foreign policy consequences, and would require retaliatory measures from Russia,” she said during a weekly briefing in Moscow on Thursday. Swedish public opinion has long been opposed to NATO membership, though recent polls have shown an increase in support amid concerns over Russia’s recent military resurgence.



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