Sweden sees reasons for military cooperation with the Baltic states (4)
Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Gen. Per Micael Byden said yesterday in Vilnius that there were many reasons for the country to intensify its military cooperation with the Baltic states.
"Because of what is happening around us, not least the development of Russia's actions, we share the responsibility for security in the Baltic Sea area," he told the Baltic News Service on Friday. He had just met with Lithuanian Lt. Gen. Jonas Vytautas Žukas.
The Swedish general said that there were a lot of arguments in favor of working with the Baltic states, and plenty of motivation as well. According to Byden, Sweden wants to build its security strategy together with others. He said that Sweden was ready to help other countries if they faced "heavy pressure.”
Byden sees potential for various incidents in Russia's provocative actions and NATO's increased presence in the Baltic Sea region. In his words, Sweden didn't see a direct military threat in Russia. However, Byden added, incidents would affect Sweden as well.
“Sweden will be involved in one way or another, and we are prepared to take on responsibility with other countries around the Baltic Sea," he said.
Byden sees provocative potential in some of Russia’s actions in the area. Recent years have seen more Russian military planes flying over the Baltic Sea, their transponders switched off, and they sometimes got close to Swedish planes, Byden said.