• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
US senator warns of Putin on visit to Sweden
US senator John McCain met Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström on Wednesday. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

US senator warns of Putin on visit to Sweden

TT/The Local · 19 Aug 2015, 16:37

Published: 19 Aug 2015 16:37 GMT+02:00

John McCain spoke to reporters on Wednesday on his brief visit to Stockholm with Republican party colleague John Barrasso and Democrat senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Top of the agenda were environmental issues, IT security and Russia.

“We underline our concern for Russia's activities in the region and its military build-up,” McCain told Swedish media after he met Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Sverker Göranson, on Wednesday.

“We all need to understand who [Vladimir Putin] is and what he wants. He wants to restore the Russian Empire,” said the 79-year-old war veteran, who has been a member of the US senate for the state of Arizona since 1987.


Senator John McCain posing for a picture with Sweden's Supreme Commander Sverker Göranson, left, and air force soldiers. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

McCain has long advocated a more aggressive approach towards Russia and his comments are likely to fuel the debate in Sweden over its eastern neighbour's presence in the region. 

The two countries have enjoyed a strained relationship in the past year, with Sweden's security service Säpo stating that Russia posed the biggest intelligence threat to the Nordic nation in 2014.

Earlier this year in June, a report for the US-based Center for European Policy Analysis (Cepa) claimed that some 33,000 Russian soldiers rehearsed a military takeover of the Baltic Sea area on March 21st to 25th, including practising the seizure of Gotland off Sweden's east coast.

The revelation followed an incident last September when two SU-24 fighter-bombers allegedly entered Swedish airspace in what the former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt called "the most serious aerial incursion by the Russians" in almost a decade.

The following month a foreign submarine was spotted in Swedish waters, although the Swedish military was unable to determine where it came from.

Story continues below…

This increased Russian military activity has caused jitters in Sweden, prompting Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist to announce that Sweden would be stepping up its military power, including stationing 230 Swedish troops on Gotland from 2018. But the move has been criticized by centre-right politicians, who argue the increase in military spending is not enough.

John McCain's comments were translated from Swedish into English by The Local and may therefore not reflect his original words in English.

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

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Foreigners in Sweden still more likely to be unemployed
A grim outlook is predicted for foreigners in Sweden. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Unemployment is falling among native Swedes, but foreign-born citizens are struggling to keep pace.

'Help! My name is Jihad'
Jihad Eshmawi. Photo: Private

My name doesn’t make life easy for me, Jihad Eshmawi tells us.

Why fewer Swedes are using condoms in 2016
Photo: Robert Henriksson / SvD / TT

Younger Swedes are better at protecting themselves than their older compatriots.

Swedish economic growth 'best in Nordics'
A new report says Sweden has the best growth prospects of the Nordics. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden's economy is out-pacing its Nordic rivals, but high levels of household debt are still a problem.

IN PICTURES: 8 of Sweden’s wondrous national parks
Vadvetjåkka is Sweden's northernmost national park. Photo: Peter Rosén/Rosénmedia

It’s National Parks Day in Sweden. Who knew? A perfect opportunity surely to take a closer look at some of the country’s most amazing natural wonders…

Why Swedish football is introducing a green card
Swedish referees could soon be reaching for a green card. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

You’ve heard of the red and yellow cards, but how about the green card?

Sweden won't charge foreign minister over 'queue jump'
Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallström will not be charged over claims she was given special treatment to secure an apartment in Stockholm.

Swedes don’t want to join the euro - now or ever
Euros? Nej tack! Photo: Jens Meyer/AP

We'll keep our krona, thank you very much.

Opinion
'Bigotry is not dead in Sweden – we still need to talk'
Stockholm Pride 2015. Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Sweden still needs to do more to confront intolerance, argues columnist Paul Connolly.

Spotify gains listeners but it's still bleeding cash
Spotify's offices in Stockholm. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

The Swedish streaming giant expanded rapidly last year but hasn't yet turned a profit.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" 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
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
3,292
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