Sweden sends tanks and troops to the Baltic island in the face of Russian threat

“AThe Armed Forces are taking the necessary steps to protect Sweden’s integrity and demonstrate our ability to protect the interests of Sweden and Sweden, “Defense Minister Peter Hulkwist told the AFP via email.

The move comes amid rising tensions between Russia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states this week as three Russian landing ships sailed from Denmark via the Great Belt Strait into the Baltic Sea.

In a statement on Thursday, the military said troops would be deployed “to strengthen operations in many places” as “Russian operations intensify in the Baltic Sea.”

Hutqvist told TT News that patrols on the island of Gotland show that Sweden is taking the situation seriously, and that “this should not come as a surprise”.

Michael Clausen, head of the Swedish Armed Forces, told the AFP that the units sent to Wispi were from the garrison already stationed on the island, which he denied was an “expression of force.”

Western nations have accused Russia of amassing tanks and dozens of troops on the border with Ukraine in recent weeks, which, according to NATO, is a prelude to a possible invasion.

Russia denies preparing for a military offensive and claims retaliation for the growing presence of the Atlantic Alliance in its sphere of influence.

In the middle of today, the Swedish Armed Forces said it had detected growing Russian activity in the Baltic Sea, indicating the presence of “elements deviating from the normal structure” and the decision to strengthen military production in the Scandinavian country.

“From today, we will be seen more and more, and we will be in important strategic locations of a civilian nature,” SWD Thomas Angschmer, spokesman for the Gotland Brigade, told public television, referring to the port and airport on the Baltic island of Sweden. கடல் ..

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The reason is the importance of “increasing activity” in the vicinity of Sweden and “proving to residents of Gotland and other countries that we have security that operates in a contextual manner”.

However, the Swedish defense considers the risk of an attack on the Scandinavian country to be “low”.

Tensions between Sweden and Russia have escalated in recent years, with the start of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict and mutual condemnation of air violations, especially by the Swedish side.

In 2014, the most serious incident occurred when Stockholm allegedly indirectly blamed Russia for encroaching on its territory by a foreign submarine, but the main source was that several photos obtained by the public were dropped a few months later.

In recent years, Sweden has intensified its cooperation with NATO, with which it has a union agreement, and has approved a number of measures to increase the defense budget.

The Stockholm government decided to send a permanent unit to Cotland, re-establish compulsory military service, allow the presence of NATO troops in Swedish territory, and re-issue a guide on how to act in the event of an emergency or military invasion.

In 2018, the Swedish Armed Forces called in 22,000-strong National Guard, a permanent force of volunteer guards, to demonstrate their ability to mobilize, which has not been accepted since 1975.

You can also read: Sweden strengthens military readiness in the face of Russian action, rejecting the threat

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