Moscow knows what measures to take to ensure its security following Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said July 11th.

“We will definitely draw conclusions depending on how quickly and extensively NATO will use the territory of Finland and Sweden. There is no doubt that this will be done as both Helsinki and Stockholm are already discussing a variety of issues with the United States that relate to the deployment of the alliance’s infrastructure right on the Russian border with Finland and very close to our border with Sweden,” he pointed out at a press conference following talks with Oman’s top diplomat Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi.

“All of Russia’s legitimate security interests will be protected. The necessary measures [will be taken]; we know what these measures should be and how to put them into practice,” Lavrov added.

“It was surprising how quickly both Finland and Sweden gave up their neutral status and the advantages this provided them for decades, ensuring their relatively independent role, as well as their reputation and authority both in Europe and on the international stage,” the Russian Foreign Minister pointed out.

According to Lavrov, the two countries also gave up the benefits they used to have from their special trade, economic, investment and other ties with Russia. “All the national interests of the Finnish and Swedish states were sacrificed to the need to unite the West in the fight against Russia, in this particular case,” Russia’s top diplomat stressed.

On Monday, Ankara agreed to lift its veto on admitting Sweden to NATO following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s talks with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European Council President Charles Michel, which took place on the eve of the NATO summit in Vilnius. Sweden vowed not to support the organizations designated as terrorist by Ankara and provide all possible assistance to Turkey with regard to its European integration.

Sweden and Finland submitted their applications to join NATO in 2022 but the process was blocked by Turkey who demanded that the two countries designate Kurdish organizations as terrorist and extradite those charged with involvement in the 2016 coup attempt. On March 31, 2023, Turkey’s parliament passed a protocol approving Finland’s accession to NATO, after which the Nordic country formally joined the North Atlantic Alliance on April 4.

Russia has repeatedly warned that another round of NATO’s expansion would lead to retaliation from Moscow.