Sweden steps up military emergency, sees no looming threat

Sweden sees an increase in Russian activity in the Baltic, says there are “deviants from normal conditions” and is strengthening the country’s military preparedness

STOCKHOLM – Sweden’s armed forces say Russia’s activity in the Baltic Sea has increased, saying there are “elements that deviate from normal conditions” and that it is strengthening the Scandinavian country’s military preparedness.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean an increased threat, but we are always adapting to the current situation,” Lt. Gen. Raif Michael Clayson said in a statement Thursday.

Sweden, which is not part of NATO, has, among other things, noticed that some landing craft of the Russian Northern Navy have entered the Baltic Sea.

Some of the measures taken by the armed forces will be visible, while others will not, said Kleisson, operations manager of the Swedish Armed Forces. They can be seen on the strategically important island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, just over 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, he said.

A line of guards was seen walking at the port in Visby, the island’s main town, as well as other ports and airports on Thursday.

“We will operate in the air, at sea, below the surface and on the ground in different ways and in different geographic locations,” he said.