• 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
Joe Biden to arrive in Sweden for refugee talks
Stefan Löfven meets Joe Biden during a visit to Washington in March 2015. Photo: Monica Enqvist/Government Offices of Sweden

US Vice President Joe Biden will arrive in Stockholm on Wednesday evening ahead of talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that are expected to focus on migration and refugees.

Boy who attacked goalkeeper 'bet thousands' on game
Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

A 17-year-old boy who stormed the pitch and attacked a goalkeeper in Sweden’s top division earlier this month has claimed he had placed a large bet on the result.

Furious fireman lashes out at Malmö car arsonists
Firefighters battle a blaze in Malmö earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A fireman in Malmö has won praise across Sweden for calling out arsonists on the “bullshit” reasons behind a spate of car fires in the southern city.

See Stockholm spectacularly change through the seasons
A bright autumn day in Stockholm. Photo: Delphine Fortin

In order to help her long-distance relationship, one Stockholm-based blogger produced a fascinating visual illustration of the Swedish capital throughout the seasons.

Groped woman had 'gigantic breasts' - player cleared
File image (2010) of Björklöven players in a huddle. Photo: public domain

A former prosector said the reasoning was "absurd" and "illegitimate".

Sweden’s high-speed trains the least punctual in Europe
One of Sweden's high-speed trains during a delay in Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

It seems the Swedes are not quite so efficient after all.

Refugee crisis
Asylum seekers leaving Sweden in record numbers
The Swedish Migration Agency offices in Solna. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The large number of asylum seekers leaving Sweden in 2016 coincides with a dramatic fall in the number seeking asylum in the country compared to last year.

Long-term damage seen from brain injuries: Swedish study
A model of the human brain. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

A study carried out in Sweden suggests that youths who suffer traumatic brain injuries are more likely to experience long-term psychological and social problems.

The Local List
30 Swedish movies you must see before you die
Thomas Hedegran and Rolf Lassgård in thriller The Hunters. Photo: Photo: Per Pettersson/TT

Film buff Christian Ekvall picks out 30 definitive Swedish movies you must see to understand the soul of the country's cinema.

Malmö police catch car arson suspect in the act
Another car blaze earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Malmö police have arrested a man after they caught him setting a vehicle alight in the Rosengård district as the city's spate of summer car fires continued.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
IN PICS: Your Sweden summer snaps
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Why are fewer foreign graduates staying in Sweden to work?
Culture
This Swedish street artist's incredible murals will make your jaw drop
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,361
jobs available