• Sweden edition
 
WIKILEAKS CABLEGATE
US embassy: 'Sweden no longer neutral'

US embassy: 'Sweden no longer neutral'

Published: 02 Dec 2010 07:24 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Dec 2010 07:24 GMT+01:00

USA's Sweden ambassador has reported that Sweden is a "strong and pragmatic partner", whose official non-alignment does not reflect reality, according to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks this week.

Among the wealth of documents that the whistleblower website Wikileaks has exposed include several hundred from the US embassy in Stockholm, showing a close security arrangement with the US, according to the Svenska Daglbadet daily.

In a classified telegram from May 4th 2007, prior to prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's visit to the USA, the then US ambassador to Sweden, Michael Wood wrote that Sweden was a "pragmatic and strong" partner.

Wood added that even though the official line is non-alignment, Swedish participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace and role as leader of the EU's Nordic Battle Group show that the position is an untruth.

Then US president George W Bush is advised to discuss with Reinfeldt in private, if he wants to praise Sweden's role in the cooperation against terrorism, a formulation which is taken to meant that the ambassador did not believe that the extent of the cooperation is known across the government offices.

Wood furthermore wrote that information from Sweden's military and civil security services is an important source of information for the USA for Russian military conditions and for knowledge of Iran's nuclear programme.

According to further US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks this week, Sweden wanted Russian kicked out of the Council of Europe following the Georgian war in 2008.

"Sweden, as Chair of the Council of Europe, will seek to solicit support from other Council of Europe members against Russia and in the next few months will attempt to vote Russia out," an August 2008 cable from the US embassy in Stockholm read.

"This is still in the early planning stages, but is a current goal of (Foreign Minister) Bildt," the cable read.

"Current thinking is to use Sweden's chairmanship of the Council of Europe (until Nov. 2008) to mobilise support to kick Russia out of the Council of Europe," the note continued.

A spokesperson for Carl Bildt, who remains Sweden's foreign minister, refused

to comment on the cable when contacted by AFP.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt also refused to comment on the cable, telling the TT news agency that "I cannot judge this. I don't know what it (the cable) says or what Carl had in mind."

According to the document, Sweden, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, the Baltic states, Slovenia, Slovakia and Bulgaria wanted "a strong statement against Russian action."

Those countries disagreed with France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands,

Malta and Cyprus, for whom the priority was to "stop the suffering and ensure

the ceasefire is respected."

Russian troops invaded a part of Georgia in August 2008 to push back Georgian forces who were seeking to retake control of breakaway region South Ossetia, and they still occupy 20 percent of Georgia's territory.

At the time, Bildt evoked Adolf Hitler in condemning Russia's attacks on Georgia over the breakaway region, saying the protection of Russians there did not justify the assault.

The conflict had chilled relations between Russia and NATO, and between Sweden and Russia.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:08 December 2, 2010 by marianne667
Sweden's so called neutrality has always been a joke. During the second world war we did everything to please the Germans until it became clear that they were losing then we switched to the allies. So these "revelation" does not surprise me at all.
14:27 December 2, 2010 by Syftfel
No longer neutral?? The problem is Sweden is not sufficiently close to the West. Sweden should take a much stronger stance against Russa, socialism, and 3rd World bullying, and jump head first in to the U.S. camp. So the fact that she is "no loonger neutral" must be viewed as a positive
15:25 December 2, 2010 by Nemesis
Sweden has not been neutral since it went to war with Russia and Poland.
18:35 December 2, 2010 by Bumblebeetuna
The neutrality position is quite hard for me to understand. I get the dream behind it but..........
19:02 December 2, 2010 by TwoToTango
Neutral in what? There isn't a major war going on and the cold war has been over for a long time.
20:05 December 2, 2010 by Kaethar
TwoToTango: This. We already know the Swedish government condemned actions by Russia and we know Sweden's involved in some NATO-led operations. That this means Sweden supports the US is simply the US ambassadors opinion. Sweden is not involved in any war and therefore can certainly claim to be neutral. Sweden's position in Afghanistan is as a peace force since they're a non-offensive force (that is, they won't shoot unless they're shot at first).
22:09 December 2, 2010 by Rebel
Sweden is not neurtral, it is just bland and without meaning and purpose. There is a difference you know.
23:40 December 2, 2010 by GLO
Sweden is a free country at least for a while, until it becomes a Muslum country 30-50 years.
00:29 December 3, 2010 by iona
Both the East and West can be considered international criminals. Sweden stay neutral.
06:37 December 3, 2010 by Russ Cobleigh
Sweden is in neutral, when it comes to creating new jobs!
19:13 December 3, 2010 by rise
"Sweden's position in Afghanistan is as a peace force since they're a non-offensive force (that is, they won't shoot unless they're shot at first)."

That is not true any more since now they're allowed to make the first shot.
20:34 December 3, 2010 by Toonie
Swedish neutrality was once used as a selling point by Swedish marketeers, perhaps still is. It was even helpful in selling arms to countries that clearly had 'no intention to use them'. The word was simply part of what every nation state does - uses language cleverly to justify whatever it needs to do.

We had a superb example of this recently in the UK. Gordon Brown wanted to institute an international ban on the deployment and use of cluster bombs. The British parliament was to consider the matter, except that the US has a considerable store of cluster bombs on UK soil and wanted to maintain this as an option. So there was a marvelously underhand operation whereby the US would be unofficially exempt from the UK ban, but without telling parliament that such an exception existed. All revealed by Wikileaks, of course. When asked to comment, a Foreign Office spokesperson condemned Wikileaks but not the attempt to hoodwink the British parliament.

So Sweden is neutral and the UK decries the use and deployment of cluster bombs - when it suits.
19:37 December 4, 2010 by Onivan
Whew! Why so much hostility toward Sweden?
21:35 December 4, 2010 by rise
"Whew! Why so much hostility toward Sweden?"

The Locals' news comments are often all about stamping on Sweden. Nothing to care about.
01:12 December 6, 2010 by OnessOfMankind
When the big bully is down, lots of western countries will be at ease and not filthy their hand in bloodshed by the BIG bully
00:37 December 7, 2010 by wenddiver
Moral Relatavism never works, eventually everbody has to chose between good and evil. Sweden grew up and chose to ight along with everybody else who believes in the good.

Great news.
Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Advertisement:
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

712
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com