• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Pressure piles on Sweden to join Nato
Nato and Swedish troops working together in Afghanistan in 2012. Photo: Mustafa Najafizada/TT

Pressure piles on Sweden to join Nato

The Local · 21 Jan 2016, 15:25

Published: 21 Jan 2016 15:25 GMT+01:00

Sweden announced last October that it was mulling joining the Nato unit StratCom to boost its expertise in fighting propaganda wars in the social media world. The move came after neighbouring Finland entered the fold.
 
Now one of the centre's top bosses has come out and said that Sweden should stop thinking and start not just cooperating with the unit but instead work towards becoming a fully fledged member of Nato.
 
"It would be a wise thing to do in 2016 on the grounds that the only area where Russia is developing is the military," Janis Sarts told Swedish broadcaster SVT on Thursday.
 
He referred to recent incursions into Swedish airspace by Russian planes as well as missile deployment from Kalingrad, only 300km from Gotland, Sweden's most easterly large island. The director also suggested that Russia's nuclear strategy could also be a threat. Russia's President Vladimir Putin has recently spoken about keeping nuclear weapons close to the Baltic countries in order to force Nato troops away from the Russian border.
 
"Their nuclear weapons rhetoric has changed significantly. They often use this in arguments. This would never have happened, even during the Cold War. Tensions have increased," he added.
 
Sweden already cooperates closely with Nato but the StratCom boss argued strongly in favour of membership, something the current Social Democrat-Green coalition has ruled out. 
 
"The example of Ukraine has shown that it does not benefit anyone to stand outside the cooperation," Sarts told SVT.
 
Sweden's Security Service Säpo said last year that the biggest intelligence threat against Sweden in 2014 came from Russia. Its stern words are largely credited with sparking increased Nato support in the traditionally non-aligned Nordic country.
 
A poll released in October 2015 suggested that 41 percent of Swedes are in favour of seeking membership in the military defence alliance, 39 percent are against the idea and 20 percent are uncertain.
Story continues below…
 
Sweden's Defence Secretary Peter Hultqvist has previously argued that increased defence co-operation with Sweden's Nordic neighbours and other allies mitigates the need to join Nato.
 
He told The Local last year that the door to Nato membership was not open.
 
However he argued: "Partnerships with the Nordic countries are completely natural because they are our neighbouring countries and we are all part of Nordefco."

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

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Swedish economy beating European giants in 2016
New numbers from Statistics Sweden paint a positive picture. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT

Sweden's economy is leaving the likes of Germany and Great Britain in its wake, figures suggest.

Video
Meet Dynamite Erik, a Swede who blows things up for fun
Who doesn't want to blow up a computer? Photo: Erik Johansson

The Local talks to a Swedish farmer who has turned his hobby of blowing things up into a YouTube sensation.

Swedish police to trial use of taser guns
A file photo of a Swedish police officer. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The weapons are designed to incapacitate assailants through an electrical current.

Swedish woman denied job because of her head scarf
Gothenburg resident Ruya El Hattawi, who says she was denied a job because of her veil. Photo: Private

Delight over tying down a summer job soon gave way to shock when the offer was withdrawn.

Fans threatening boycott of Johnny Depp's Stockholm gig
Johnny Depp and the Hollywood Vampires performing at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

But others were queuing outside on Monday morning.

Good news: The Swedish summer has returned
It could be time for that first swim of the year in Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Time to put away those waterproofs and bring out the bathing suits once more.

Zlatan's sore calf forces him to sit out Sweden's friendly
Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the Sweden team's training camp. Photo: Erik Nylander/TT

So does that mean Slovenia will beat Sweden on Monday?

'Sweden would not be able to defend Gotland'
File photo of a military exercise. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

Sweden would not be able to make a stand if it came to an invasion of the Baltic Sea island by foreign forces, one expert has said.

My Swedish Career
'Sweden is the ideal place for my business'
Emilie Terstegge. Photo: Sandra Jolly Photography.

Why Sweden's fitness craze and generous family benefits helped this Dutch entrepreneur launch her startup for mums.

Police shoot knife man in central Stockholm
Police technicians spent the rest of Saturday night combing the square for clues. Photo: TT

A knife-wielding man was shot by police officers in Stockholm’s Sergel Square after he attacked officers.

Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Gallery
People-watching: May 27th-29th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
The best, cutest and funniest snaps from Prince Oscar's christening
Travel
Is this town the best place in Sweden?
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
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Gallery
People-watching: May 25th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Society
WATCH: Why Swedish handyman wore pink high heels for feminism
Sport
LIST: Top-ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Business & Money
Why Swedes don't want the euro
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
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?
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
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
3,348
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