NATO’s newest member eyes ‘prolonged’ conflict with Russia — RT World News

Moscow is the problem, but Ukraine can put an end to it “once and for all,” the Swedish foreign minister claimed

Sweden is determined to confront Russia as part of NATO, as the newest member of the US-led military bloc has pledged. Arming Ukraine is a way to deal with Moscow “Appetite” Foreign Minister Tobias Bellstrom said on Thursday.

The chief diplomat praised his country's future contribution to NATO's strategy for the Baltic region, in an interview with the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Sweden officially joined the US-led military bloc earlier this month.

“It's not Sweden and NATO that are a problem.” He told the broadcaster. “It is Russia that is acting irresponsibly and recklessly.”

Billstrom cited examples he found of Russian behavior “unacceptable,” The most important of which is the military operation in Ukraine. However, Moscow views the conflict as part of a Western proxy war against Russia. It has cited NATO's expansion into Europe, undertaken in violation of Western promises to Moscow, as among the main reasons for the hostilities. The Swedish official expected that tensions would continue for years to come.

We are facing a long period of conflict with Russia. It goes to NATO, it goes to the European Union. We have to adapt ourselves accordingly.

The diplomat claimed that Russia was “On its way to regaining its former imperial origins.” It also justified NATO's military buildup in the Baltic region. Much of the region was once part of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union.

The Russian government has no territorial claims against the Baltic states, and has denied any intention to start a fight with NATO. Officials in Moscow say such a conflict would be devastating for everyone involved, but it is the West that is risking it by inflaming the crisis in Ukraine.

Billstrom, who was visiting Berlin, showed his solidarity with Kiev by wearing a lapel pin bearing the national flags of Sweden and Ukraine. When asked about future aid, he declined to make any commitments about Swedish-made Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets or Swedish forces on the ground.

He added: “We must do more, of course, but this does not mean that we necessarily have to do it on Ukrainian territory.” It is to explain.

Billstrom emphasized that Ukraine may be thrown back into the battlefield now, but with the West's help, it can win. That would “Put an end to Russia once and for all” He said.

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