Russia worries Swedish military committee

Russia worries Swedish military committee
Sweden's parliamentary defence committee has expressed concerns over current political developments in Russia.

In a new report, the committee said that climate change posed the greatest threat to Sweden’s security. But Vladimir Putin’s Russia was also viewed as a potential source of future problems.

“We are worried that it has become more authoritarian and it is difficult to know what direction it will take,” said committee chairman Göran Lennmarker (Mod).

The committee added that the Russian leadership placed “more importance on stability than democratic development and respect for human rights.”

The report made no mention of possible military consequences arising from the planned Russian-German-Dutch gas pipeline set to enter Swedish waters in the Baltic Sea.

Håkan Juholt (SocDem) said that the committee had conferred with the military on this issue and come to the conclusion that the pipeline would not give rise to “new tasks for the armed forces”.

But the report also noted that the Russian Federation would have a major influence over the pipeline by virtue of its majority ownership in energy giant Gazprom.

According to the committee it would be in Sweden’s best interests to cooperate with other Baltic states in terms of keeping watch over sea trading and any eventual pipeline development.

Göran Lennmarker proposed the creation of a common coast guard authority for countries bordering the Baltic Sea.

Key to Swedish Political Parties

Government (right/centre-right):

Moderates (Mod)

Centre Party (Cen)

Liberal Party (Lib)

Christian Democrats (ChrDem)

Opposition (left/centre-left):

Social Democrats (SocDem)

Green Party (Green)

Left Party (Left)

Parties not represented in parliament:

Sweden Democrats (SweDem)

June List (June)