Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says Russia is not bothered if Sweden and Finland join NATO but warns they will respond in kind to any “threats.”
“There is nothing that could bother us about Sweden and Finland joining NATO. If they want to join, please. Only we must clearly and precisely understand — while there was no threat before, in the case of military contingents and military infrastructure being deployed there, we will have to respond symmetrically and raise the same threats in those territories from where threats have arisen for us,” Putin said at a news conference following the Caspian Summit in Turkmenistan on Wednesday.
Sweden and Finland are set formally to end decades of neutrality and join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in a historic breakthrough for the alliance that deals a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The last major hurdle to the two nations' entry to the bloc was removed when Turkey dropped its opposition on Tuesday.
That breakthrough came during a NATO summit in Madrid that has already become one of the most consequential meetings in the history of the military alliance.
See a map of NATO countries:
CNN's Rob Picheta and Josh Berlinger contributed to this report.