Four Russian fighter jets violate Swedish airspace near Gotland island
Share this:

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has reignited the debate over Sweden’s membership of NATO

Four Russian fighter jets today violated Swedish airspace east of the island of Gotland, in the Baltic Sea, the army said, at a time when tensions are growing between Russia and the West over the invasion of Ukraine.

“Two Sukhoi Su-27s and two Sukhoi Su-24s violated Swedish airspace,” the Swedish Army said in a statement.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has reignited the debate over Sweden’s membership of NATO.

In January, Sweden sent tanks and dozens of armed soldiers onto the streets of Visby, a port city on the Baltic island of Gotland, in an unusual move taken in response to increased “Russian activity” in the region.

“The Armed Forces are taking the necessary measures to protect the integrity of Sweden and demonstrate our ability to protect Sweden and the interests of Swedes,” Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told AFP via ‘and -mail’, on occasion.

The move came after three Russian ships sailed in the Baltic Sea, crossing the Great Belt Strait in Denmark.

In a statement, the military said troops would be deployed to “strengthen operations in many locations” due to “increased Russian activity in the Baltic Sea”.

Hutqvist also told TT news agency that patrols on the island of Gotland showed that Sweden was taking the situation seriously and would not be “taken by surprise”.

The Swedish Armed Forces said they had detected increasing Russian activity in the Baltic Sea, indicating the existence of “elements that deviate from the normal framework” and decided to strengthen military preparation in the Scandinavian country.

The Swedish Defense considered, however, that the risk of attack on the Scandinavian country was “low”.

Tension between Sweden and Russia has increased in recent years, coinciding with the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, with mutual denunciations of airspace violations, in particular by the Swedish side.

The most serious incident took place in 2014, when Stockholm referred to a violation of its territory by an alleged foreign submarine, indirectly blaming Russia, but the main evidence, several photos made available by civilians, was abandoned a few months later.

In recent years, Sweden has intensified its collaboration with NATO, with which it has an association agreement, and has approved several measures to increase the Defense budget.

The Stockholm Government also decided to send a permanent detachment to Gotland, re-establish compulsory military service, allow the presence of NATO troops in Swedish territory and reissue a guide with information on how to act in the event of an emergency or military invasion.

In 2018, the Swedish Armed Forces called up the 22,000-strong National Guard, a permanent corps of volunteer reservists, to prove their ability to mobilize, a measure that had not been adopted since 1975.

Source: with agencies

Share this:
All comments.