• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Sweden calls in reserves over Russian unrest

TT/The Local/og · 11 Dec 2014, 14:36

Published: 11 Dec 2014 14:36 GMT+01:00

"The world has changed in a negative way," Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish broadcaster SVT. 
 
He cited the rearmament of Russia, the country's annexation of Crimea in Ukraine, and the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine as justification for the re-training plans.
 
The move will mean that around 7,500 people who have served in the Swedish army since 2004 may be called in for a month of re-training. 
 
"The armed forces will be able to carry out fully-manned war preparations which will result in increased operational capacity," Hultqvist explained.
 
Hultqvist says Swedes have nothing to worry about. Photo: TT
 
Karlis Neretnieks, a retired major general and the former president of Sweden's National Defence College, was pleased with the news.
 
"I am extremely happy about this decision. The Armed Forces have had really big problems recruiting enough people on a volunteer basis," he told The Local.  
 
"We'll be able to call on these former conscripts and then carry out exercises with full units - resulting in a more efficient and higher level of training."
 
He added that the move was a positive signal for the Swedish public. 
 
"The environment in the Baltic states and the Baltic Sea is getting a bit nasty, a bit unpleasant, and this move is a good signal to show that the Swedish government has reacted to the developments," he said. 
 
"It's also a good signal to our neighbours that Sweden is concerned. People in countries like Poland, for example, have complained that Sweden hasn't seemed to be reacting to what's been going on."
 
Neretnieks added that Thursday's announcement was interesting from a political perspective with a fresh set of elections looming in March. 
 

Swedish Armed Forces train in Stockholm. Photo: TT
 
"Voters are concerned about the state of the Armed Forces and this government is showing that it's taking defence seriously compared to the last government," he explained. 
 
Indeed, around 65 percent of Swedes quizzed by the Aftonbladet newspaper said they thought the refresher courses were a good idea.
 
The only problem, the retired major general concluded, is that the courses will be costly - but he added that it would be money well spent. 
Story continues below…
 
"We can only hope that the move will be followed up by an allocation of funds. Otherwise it's nothing more than a symbolic gesture."
 
The earliest the training could be introduced would be the beginning of next year, reported the TT news agency. 
 
When The Local talked to Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist last month, he said that despite a submarine intruding in Swedish waters, there is "no immediate threat against Sweden".
 
"I think that there is a new security situation in the Baltic area and in the Baltic Sea. We see more exercises, we see more intelligence activities and what has happened now has confirmed that we are in another situation, if we compare this to the situation five or ten years ago," he explained.
 
"We have no immediate threat against Sweden but we have a security environment around us that has changed in a negative way and that is why we need to develop and deepen the discussions about how we cooperate with other countries."
 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

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

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
 Ibrahimovic 'will not go to Manchester United' - agent
Ibrahimovic is pondering his next move. Photo: TT

According to Mino Raiola, the agent of Swedish superstar footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, his client will not be heading to Old Trafford to link up with Jose Mourinho, Manchester United's new manager.

More flight delays hit Swedish airport
For some flights, the problems have led to up to two hours of delays. Photo: TT

Travellers at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport were beset again with delays on Saturday afternoon after technical problems with flightplan management software.

Video
The top reactions to Swedish high heels handyman video
Andersson was in agony after a day of laying floors in high heels. Photo: Emil Andersson

What did The Local's readers think about this viral clip challenging sexist beauty ideals?

Transport authorities call for probe into tech glitch
SAS aircraft grounded at Arlanda airport last week. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

But officials say it was not sabotage that caused last week's network failure, which knocked out large parts of Swedish air traffic.

Why northern Swedes get the hots for sex toys
File photo of handcuffs. Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/SvD/TT

Where in Sweden do people buy the most sex toys? Kiruna in the far north, apparently.

Royal baptism day for Sweden's Prince Oscar
Prince Oscar with Archbishop Antje Jackelén. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

UPDATED: Royalty, dignitaries and other esteemed figures took to Stockholm's Royal Chapel for the ceremony.

Giant replica of Swedish 18th century ship up for sale
The Götheborg setting sail from Stockholm in 2008. Photo: Claudio Bresciani / TT

A replica of a doomed Swedish merchant vessel that sank in 1745 within sight of its home port of Gothenburg has been put up for sale.

Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Öresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

Dozens of attempts have been made, but this is the first successful crossing since Sweden introduced ID and border checks.

Brexit
Poll: Swedes are worried about Brexit consequences
The possibility of Brexit has Swedes worried about the EU's future. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Swedes are worried about what may happen both at home and abroad if Britain votes to leave the EU in June.

The Local Recipes
Fend off the bad weather with a Swedish beetroot salad
Beetroot salad with cumin and feta. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Rain, rain, go away.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Gallery
The best, cutest and funniest snaps from Prince Oscar's christening
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Travel
Is this town the best place in Sweden?
Gallery
People-watching: May 25th
Blog updates

27 May

Editor’s blog, May 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, Would you spend a day doing manual labour in high heels? That’s what Swedish…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Society
WATCH: Why Swedish handyman wore pink high heels for feminism
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
Sport
LIST: Top-ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Business & Money
Why Swedes don't want the euro
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
3,350
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se