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Marija Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry

Photo: Russian Foerign Ministry / ITAR-TASS / IMAGO

In an initial reaction to Sweden's foreseeable accession, Russia is threatening NATO without being specific.

The government in Moscow will closely monitor how Sweden will behave in the "aggressive military bloc," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

"Based on this, we will shape our response with retaliatory steps of a military-technical nature and of a different nature."

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Sweden cleared the final hurdle on its way to NATO membership on Monday after the Hungarian parliament ratified its membership.

Together with Finland, Sweden applied to join the defense alliance almost two years ago.

The two traditionally militarily neutral countries were reacting to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Finland was formally admitted to NATO in April last year.

Sweden is set to become the 32nd member state.

Zakharova said Sweden's entry into the transatlantic alliance was accompanied by ongoing anti-Russian hysteria in the Nordic country, fueled by the political and military elite there.

"But the real cause lies abroad," she said.

"It is not the Swedes themselves who make this choice, this choice was made for the Swedes."

Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson reacted calmly.

That was the reaction that Russia also showed to Finland, the TT news agency quoted him as saying.

According to polls, a majority of Swedes support their country joining NATO.

Russia repeatedly makes threats against NATO.

The Kremlin is trying to portray the Alliance as the aggressor.

The eastern expansion, i.e. the admission of several former Soviet states, was seen as a provocation.

In Putin's story, Russia supposedly offers resistance against its opponents from the USA and NATO.