Swedish General Staff: troops have increased combat readiness in response to the threat from Russia
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / Reuters
Sweden has increased its combat readiness in response to the threat from Russia, Swedish Army Chief of Staff Mikael Biden told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
He said that the Swedish army is ready to act in several directions, not only in the Baltic itself, but also in the direction of the Russian borders. “We are not sitting idly by. We are ready for various events, not only in the immediate vicinity of us, ”the general said.
The chief of staff recalled that in 2015, the Swedish parliament decided to re-establish a military presence in Gotland, a strategically important island off the country's southeastern coast. Additional troops were sent there in connection with the Russian exercises. He suggested that a re-scenario is now possible.
The Dagens Nyhete newspaper recalled that in April 2013, Russian bombers simulated nuclear attacks on targets north of Gotland during an exercise. Then not a single Swedish fighter flew on alert to accompany potential targets.
At the moment, Sweden is not a member of the NATO bloc, but is its partner.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that NATO has not yet responded to Russian proposals for security guarantees. Moscow expects to receive concrete answers from Washington on this issue in January 2022.
On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry published draft agreements with NATO and the United States on security guarantees, which, in particular, state that the alliance should not create military bases in the territories of the former Soviet republics that are not NATO members. Washington was also advised not to use their infrastructure for any military activity and not to develop bilateral military cooperation with them.