NATO must create more

NATO must create more "strategic difficulties" for Russia – Swedish foreign minister

The West should aim to create more "strategic difficulties" in a bid to reign in Russia's behavior, with the first priority being to stop the aggression against Ukraine, an area where NATO is not doing enough.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström said this in an interview with Euractiv, Ukrinform reports.

“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,” Billström said.

Commenting on French President Emmanuel Macron's call for "strategic ambiguity" regarding Russia and hinting at the possibility of Western troops being deployed in Ukraine, Billström said that as far as the French proposal “to train Ukrainian personnel on Ukrainian soil, it’s not on the table for Sweden,” Billström said, hinting that Stockholm found the unfolding debate around Macron’s comments untimely and distracting.”

Read also: Ukraine, Sweden to deepen cooperation in nuclear industry

In order to (stop Russia - ed.), we first of all have to stop the aggression against Ukraine,” Billström said. “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.”

He said providing Ukraine with more military equipment "is not a question of industrial capacity" and "comes down to political leadership and political will", noting that the U.S. and Europe had fare more joint production capacity than Russia.

Read also: NATO Military Committee Chair arrives in Ukraine, first time since Russian invasion

As Ukrinform reported earlier, Sweden will join the initiative put forward by the Czech Republic to procure ammunition for Ukraine from third countries and allocate EUR 30 million to this end.

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