Russia's relations with Sweden and Finland are not as problematic as Ukraine's, if they want to join NATO, they should join, but if the alliance's military infrastructure is located in Finland and Sweden, Russia will have to respond, said Vladimir Putin, Russian President to reporters after the Caspian summit in Ashgabat, APA’s Moscow correspondent reports.
“As for Sweden and Finland, we do not have the same problem with Sweden and Finland, which, unfortunately, is the case with Ukraine. There is nothing to worry about in terms of Finland's or Sweden's NATO membership. If they want, let them do it", said Putin in response to a question about how Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO would affect Russia's relations with them at a press conference on the results of the Caspian summit.
He also called Russia's claim that it intended to distance NATO forces from its borders by preventing Ukraine from joining the alliance a lie and "irrelevant to reality."
"For us, the membership of Finland and Sweden in NATO is not the same as the membership of Ukraine, they are completely different. They understand this very well. They just release this thesis to public opinion - look, Russia did not want it, but now received a double response. No, this is something else entirely, "said the Russian leader.