Medvedev: If NATO moves against Crimea, World War II will break out

"For us, Crimea is part of Russia. And that means forever "

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Any move by a member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization against Crimea would be tantamount to a declaration of war on Russia and could lead to "World War III," said former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

"For us, Crimea is part of Russia. And that means forever. "Any attempt to invade Crimea is a declaration of war against our country," Medvedev said in the online edition of the weekly newspaper Argumenty i Fakti (Arguments and Facts, "Arguments and Facts").

"And if this is done by any NATO member, it will mean war with the entire North Atlantic Alliance; World War III. The absolute disaster ", he added.

Mr Medvedev, vice-president of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation, also said that if Finland and Sweden joined NATO, Moscow would step up security at its borders and was "ready for retaliation", which could include the development of Iskander supersonic missiles "on their doorstep".