Deputy spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexey Zaitsev (TASS photo)

MOSCOW – Moscow will inevitably retaliate against any hindrances Sweden or Finland might put up following their entry to NATO, a deputy spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry warned on Wednesday.

"While getting ready to join NATO, Helsinki and Stockholm should realize what consequences this could lead to. Russia would inevitably respond to any measures the [Nordic] countries could take in order to pose threats to it," Alexey Zaitsev said at a news conference.

The accession of Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would be "a step closer to the escalation of political and military tensions in Europe" and would "aggravate things for the Baltic and Arctic regions," the Russian diplomat cautioned.

"There be substantially less potential for peaceful cooperation that is much in demand in the [Nordic] region," Zaitsev said. ‘It will be imperative" for Helsinki and Stockholm "to follow directives from NATO’s Brussels or - to be exact - from Washington."

The diplomat said Washington used NATO’s summit in Madrid to show "who’s the boss".

“He regretted that the two independent countries "that have made a substantial contribution to the development of key military security elements after the Cold War actually consented to share the same fate as NATO’s periphery near the frontlines, in fact, getting themselves dragged into someone else’s geopolitical game against Russia," he concluded. (TASS)