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Sweden increasingly moves away from neutrality and sends second shipment of 5,000 rocket launchers to Ukraine

“A historic new decision”: Sweden will send a second shipment of weapons to Ukraine. Swedish Defense Minister says it is “extremely important to continue to actively support Ukraine”.

Sweden will send a second shipment of weapons to Ukraine, contributing another 5,000 rocket launchers, after having already authorized a historic first delivery worth 37.7 million euros, the Swedish government announced this Wednesday.

“Sweden will double its contribution to the Armed Forces of Ukraine with an additional 5,000 rocket launchers and mine-clearing equipment. A new historic decision”, stressed the Swedish Foreign Minister, Ann Linde, through the social network Twitter.

Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist also confirmed this new support for Kiev, noting that it is “extremely important to continue to actively support Ukraine”, according to the Swedish news agency TT.

Formal approval of the decision taken by the finance committee of the Riksdag (Swedish parliament) should take place soon, news agency EFE reports.

The first shipment of weapons, approved at the end of February, broke with the Nordic country’s tradition of neutrality, which is not a member of NATO, of not sending weapons to countries in conflict.

Sweden has maintained this stance uninterruptedly since the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939.

At Kyiv request, Sweden sent 5,000 rocket launchers and equipment worth around €38 million to Ukraine earlier this month.

The Swedish Government recently announced its intention to increase annual military spending to 2% of its Gross Domestic Product as soon as possible and to incorporate more young people into the military, which it reinstated in 2017.

Sweden and Finland stated this Wednesday that their security and defense policy does not mean being “neutral countries”, and they are studying the possibility of integrating or reinforcing collaboration with NATO.

They also assured that they are willing to help neighboring countries: “If something happens to our neighbors, we are here to help and, if something happens to us, we hope they will help us”.

Source: with agencies

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