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West should create more strategic difficulties for Russia - Swedish FM

West should create more strategic difficulties for Russia - Swedish FM Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The West must strive to create more "strategic difficulties" in its attempt to control Russia's behavior. NATO is not doing enough to stop Russia's aggression against Ukraine, according to Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström.

"We have to understand that Russia is a neighbour that is behaving irresponsibly, which is threatening the world with irresponsible nuclear threats and the idea of recreating its former empire at the expense of independent sovereign states (…) We have to put an end to that. We have to create more strategic difficulties for Russia," he said.

The Swedish Foreign Minister also clarified what the West must do to stop Russia.

"In order to [stop Russia], we first of all have to stop the aggression against Ukraine. Not all countries understand the sense of urgency to act that there is. Those countries need to understand that the conflict is here and that we need to deal with it," Billström said.

Given their geographical proximity, the countries of Northern Europe and the Baltics are increasingly warning of the threat posed by Russia's victories.

"NATO is not doing enough for Ukraine," said Billström, adding that Kyiv’s armed forces need "more of almost everything".

According to him, providing more military equipment to Ukraine "is not a question of industrial capacity."

"[This] comes down to political leadership and political will," he added, noting that the United States and Europe have far more shared production capacities than Russia.

According to Billström, Stockholm will insist on strengthening containment and enhancing its strategically important role in the Baltic Sea. He also emphasized that Sweden firmly belongs to the camp of governments that want to focus on organizing European defense together with NATO and "in relation to the transatlantic link".

Sweden's accession to NATO

Sweden officially joined the North Atlantic Alliance on March 7. It became the 32nd member of NATO. Sweden's flag was raised at NATO headquarters in Brussels on March 11. Secretary-General of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg was present at the ceremony.

Türkiye opposed Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO due to their support for the Kurdistan Workers' Party, as Ankara considers it a terrorist organization.

Besides, Finland officially became a member of NATO on April 4, 2023. The country's flag was also raised at NATO headquarters.