Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, warned in a statement Thursday Russia’s military would “more than double” its forces in Russia’s Western flank should Sweden and Finland join NATO.
Ground- and air-defense forces would be beefed up, he wrote on Telegram, and Russia would deploy “significant naval forces” in the Gulf of Finland.
If Sweden and Finland join NATO, Medevedev added, “it will no longer be possible to talk about any non-nuclear status of the Baltic — the balance must be restored.”
Medvedev, who served as president of Russia from 2008 to 2012 in a four-year interregnum for Russia President Vladimir Putin’s two-decade rule, has struck a bellicose pose in recent months, though he is not a top decision-maker.
A 2018 Federation of American Scientists report concluded that Russia may have significantly modernized a nuclear weapons storage bunker in Kaliningrad, an exclave of Russian territory between Poland and the Baltic states.