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  • Russia warns of 'risks' should Sweden join NATO

    Russia warns of 'risks' should Sweden join NATO

    A top Russian official has told a leading Swedish newspaper that the country would be likely to face military action if it were to join Nato.

    Nearly one in three Swedes think the country should join Nato, a major poll suggested last month, up from 29 percent of Swedes in 2013 and 17 percent in 2012.

    The shift in public opinion is largely credited to a rising fear in the Nordic country of a potentially aggressive Russia. Sweden’s security service Säpo recently stated that the biggest intelligence threat against the Nordic country in 2014 came from its eastern neighbour.

    On Thursday, Russia's ambassador to Sweden, Viktor Tatarintsev, hit out in an interview with the Dagens Nyheter daily at what he called an “aggressive propaganda campaign” by Swedish media.

    “Russia is often described as an attacker who only thinks of conducting wars and threatening others. But I can guarantee that Sweden, which is an alliance-free nation, is not part of any military plans by Russian authorities. Sweden is not a target for our armed troops,” he said.

    However, he underlined that if Sweden were to abandon its alliance neutrality and join the Western military organization, Russia would adopt “counter measures”.

    “I don't think it will become relevant in the near future, even though there has been a certain swing in public opinion. But if it happens there will be counter measures. Putin pointed out that there will be consequences, that Russia will have to resort to a response of the military kind and re-orientate our troops and missiles. The country that joins Nato needs to be aware of the risks it is exposing itself to” he told DN.

    Swedish-Russian relations have been under strain lately, following increased military presence in the Baltic Sea.

    In September 2014 two SU-24 fighter-bombers allegedly entered Swedish airspace in what the former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt called "the most serious aerial incursion by the Russians" in almost a decade.

    The following month a foreign submarine was spotted in Swedish waters, although the Swedish military was unable to determine where it came from.

    “I think that there is a new security situation in the Baltic area and in the Baltic Sea,” Sweden’s Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told The Local on the day the sighting was confirmed.

    He has also announced that the country's navy is upgrading its fleet of ships in order to improve its ability to locate rogue submarines in Swedish waters.
    Link
    ______

    Like Finland, you have to wonder why the Swedes are so jumpy if "Sweden is not a target for [Russian] armed troops" as the Russian ambassador to Sweden claims.
    Sweden doesn't typically go around pissing other countries off for the lolz. I'm surprised the Russian ambassador didn't call them American puppets while he was at it.
    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

  • #2
    Sounds like while there is increased interest, much of Sweden's public is still unenthusiastic about the idea. As of January, It may be a tough sell for Sweden politically, although Russia making vague threats probably increases the likelihood of Sweden joining.

    Comment


    • #3
      "Sweden, you're not a target of our troops. You're a target of our bombers and submarines."
      "We are all special cases." - Camus

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
        It may be a tough sell for Sweden politically, although Russia making vague threats probably increases the likelihood of Sweden joining.
        I rather doubt Sweden will ever join NATO unless something drastic and/or kinetic happens.

        But the fact that numbers "for" are rising and "against" are dropping several points within just a year...that's rather startling.
        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

        Comment


        • #5
          Mean while this is like the 4th top US military officer to testify that Russia is now threat #1:

          http://breakingdefense.com/2015/07/g...tting-smaller/

          If Sweden asks, will it get an enthusiastic reception from NATO?

          Comment


          • #6
            I doubt both that Sweden would ask or that NATO might offer. I also question whether it'd be a no-brainer invitation from NATO if Sweden requested admittance.

            More than testimony against Russia, Miley marks how many senior military leaders and politicians now that have weighed in favor of providing lethal defensive systems to the Ukrainians? Understandably, most such comments come from those who best appreciate the consequences of appeasement.
            "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
            "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

            Comment


            • #7
              S2, or anybody else in the know, care to shed some light on the dynamics between Sweden and NATO? I just haven't the faintest clue about the dynamics there.

              Also noticed the part about lethal aid. To my recollection almost every senior military leader who has testified on the issue has said, carefully, to either consider or outright support providing lethal defensive systems. I doubt they would even mention it if they don't at least support it privately.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sweden rethinking neutrality amid fear of Russian aggression

                Sweden's 200-year-old posture of military neutrality has been eroding amid European integration, and a perceived new threat from Russia has politicians now talking about abandoning it altogether and joining NATO.

                Swedish forces have been taking part in peacekeeping, military exercises and some NATO-led missions since the 1990s as the country has joined regional and international forces to reduce its vulnerability in a still-volatile region more than two decades after the Cold War ended.

                But fear of a resurgent Russia is rife in the former Soviet republics across the Baltic Sea, and Moscow's air and naval forces have stepped up patrols near and into Baltic states' airspace and maritime zones over the last two years as relations between Russia and the West have become newly hostile.

                Since the Kremlin seized and annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in March 2014, public opinion has shifted from broad opposition to Swedish membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to one in three Swedes now telling pollsters they favor joining.

                "I think it's the combination of the perceived threat from Russia and a discussion about the armed forces' inability to carry out their tasks which leads to more Swedes being in favor of Swedish NATO membership,” Ulf Bjereld, a political science professor at Gothenburg University, told Swedish Radio after the latest SOM Institute survey on Western military alignment.

                After Swedish media gave broad coverage to rising pro-NATO sentiments, Russia's ambassador to Sweden, Viktor Tatarintsev, warned that Moscow might react militarily if Stockholm were to abandon neutrality and join the alliance.

                "I don't think it will become relevant in the near future, even though there has been a certain swing in public opinion. But if it happens there will be counter measures," Tatarintsev told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper in June. "Putin pointed out that there will be consequences, that Russia will have to resort to a response of the military kind and reorientate our troops and missiles. The country that joins NATO needs to be aware of the risks it is exposing itself to."

                This week, the leader of a key opposition political force, the Center Party, said she would advocate a move toward NATO membership when the party faithful gather for their annual policy conference.

                "We lack the ability to defend ourselves for a longer period of time. At the same time, NATO is very clear about the fact that Sweden cannot expect military support if we are not full members of the organization. We can no longer close our eyes to that," party leader Annie Loof wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday by Svenska Dagbladet.

                Sweden will probably stay neutral. They are too close to potential front lines, and they are just a speed bump should the Russian army ever invades it.

                The Moderates -- the largest of the four parties in the opposition coalition -- already support joining NATO, as do the Liberals. The last of the quartet, the Christian Democrats, also plans to revisit the issue at its party conference in October, leader Ebba Busch Thor told the TT news agency.

                The ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Greens remains opposed to NATO membership. But they have been supportive of closer engagement with the Western defense alliance and joined four other Nordic countries in April in announcing military collaboration in "direct response to aggressive Russian behavior," Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist wrote in an opinion piece carried then by the Aftenposten newspaper.

                The pact unites Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland in a common mission to bolster defenses against potential threats from Russia.

                NATO-member Baltic states reported a fourfold increase in provocative warplane flights and maritime intrusions last year. Two Russian SU-24 fighter bombers penetrated Swedish airspace in September 2014 in a maneuver that former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt called "the most serious aerial incursion by the Russians" in a decade, The Local news website reported at the time.

                In October, the Swedish navy and maritime security forces fanned out across the vast Stockholm archipelago in search of what was suspected to be a Russian submarine that had been spotted near the Swedish capital. The weeklong hunt found no trace of the vessel but authorities expressed certainty it was a clandestine Russian mission. Link
                ______________________

                Originally posted by citanon View Post
                S2, or anybody else in the know, care to shed some light on the dynamics between Sweden and NATO? I just haven't the faintest clue about the dynamics there.
                Can't speak for years past without doing some research, but lately the relationships getting warmer and warmer, whilst Sweden's relationship with Russia is getting frostier and frostier.

                As before, Swedish membership in NATO is extremely unlikely...but as before (again), these sentiments and poll numbers would've been wholly unthinkable just a few years ago.
                My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                Comment


                • #9
                  "...Sweden will probably stay neutral. They are too close to potential front lines, and they are just a speed bump should the Russian army ever invades it..."

                  Like much of the rest of western Europe, Sweden is only a "speed bump" should it choose to be. Last I checked, however good the road and rail net is in Sweden, once you get off the roads you are good and truly fcuked by the terrain. From Stockholm northward, like Finland, you're dealing with taiga and channelizing lakes and rivers-lots and lots of them. A complete mess.

                  So...stay on the road net and rail net as you assault a rather physically massive nation? Be my guest.

                  No. This is, again, simply a question of political determination and leadership.

                  Both ways and means exist in this instance where the determination is manifest. Frankly, there's much to suggest that a Russian attack upon Finland might brook much the same difficulties should the Finns apply forethought and resources in a timely fashion.

                  Again, "...timely..." will be a function of will and leadership.

                  Most of us suspect that Putin and his cronies are simply bullies, willing to take what's easily granted but rapid to preserve marginal gains at the risk of more. If so, it's understandable Europe's reluctance to re-arm.

                  Who wants to spend all that money if there's to be no fight?

                  So wasteful.
                  "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
                  "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Also, I think one thing Ukraine showed is that Russia is in no shape to steam roll anything bigger than Crimea.

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                    • #11
                      Not quite.They can't steamroll anything that puts up a fight.
                      Those who know don't speak
                      He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mihais View Post
                        Not quite.They can't steamroll anything that puts up a fight.
                        Yes.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Why should Sweden join NATO ?

                          They're already part of the only actually meaningful mutual defense treaty in Europe.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kato View Post
                            Why should Sweden join NATO ?

                            They're already part of the only actually meaningful mutual defense treaty in Europe.
                            IDK, ask their politicians. Some voiced ideas that it might be beneficiary.

                            But, since the European treaty is the only meaningful one, why don't Germany hop out of NATO and save some money?
                            No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

                            To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We're not really spending anything on NATO. Save for our SHAPE posts, all we use NATO for is training.

                              Comment

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