Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the Russian General Staff and commander of the group of troops in the so-called "special military operation," has said that Finland and Sweden's aspirations to join NATO and the use of Ukraine as a tool for a hybrid war with Russia are new threats to Moscow.
Gerasimov considers Sweden and Finland's NATO membership aspirations a "threat to Russia". The Kremlin's rhetoric towards Europe is becoming more and more defiant. Increased sanctions and isolation may be a logical response to it.
It seems that the Kremlin still does not understand or does not want to understand that its actions have not only failed to sow disagreement within the membership countries of NATO, which Putin appears to have been counting on. On the contrary, Russia's actions have united the members of the Alliance to defend against Russian aggression.
At the beginning of last year, the Kremlin's rhetoric about threats to Russia's security from NATO's eastward expansion was only a pretext to justify its aggression against Ukraine to implement its imperialist plans to bring Kyiv back into Moscow's orbit of influence. NATO enlargement did not pose a threat to Russia, but was designed to increase security in Europe and strengthen democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. A vivid example of this message is the fact that there have been no military conflicts between European states in Europe for almost 30 years.
At the beginning of the genocidal invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin could not have imagined that his direct aggression would prompt the neutral countries of Sweden and Finland to quickly decide to join NATO, thus more than doubling the Alliance's eastern borders with Russia.
Accordingly, Russia is now trying to prevent these plans from reaching their goal. Moscow is actively subverting Sweden to block its path to NATO. The recent Quran burning near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm leaves a trail that clearly traces back to the Kremlin, which is interested in deteriorating relations between Sweden and Turkey. The people who organised this action are most likely to be connected to Russian special services.For example, the application for the Quran burning event in Stockholm by Rasmus Paludan was paid for by a journalist and host of the right-wing Sweden Democrats Riks channel, Mr. Chang Frick, who actively opposes Sweden's accession to NATO and openly promotes the Kremlin's narrative.
The Kremlin's rhetoric towards European countries is becoming more and more defiant every day. The logical response to this should be an increase in sanctions and the complete isolation of Russia. Today, the West must make it clear to the Russian leadership that Russia's imperialist expansion in the twenty-first century stands no chance.
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