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Swedish PM: No 'direct' Russian threat to Sweden

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Swedish PM: No 'direct' Russian threat to Sweden
Stefan Löfven meeting journalists in New York on Monday. Photo: Tina Magnergård-Bjers/TT
07:43 CEST+02:00
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has denied suggestions that a growing military threat from Russia was behind the decision to station permanent troops on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland last week.

On Monday, newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) reported that Sweden was aware of a growing threat from Russia, and had classified it as top secret.

That increased threat was a contributing factor in last week's stationing of a permanent garrison of 150 soldiers on Gotland over a year ahead of schedule, DN claimed.

But Löfven – who is in New York for the opening session of the UN General Assembly as well as the Leaders' Summit on Refugees – told journalists on Monday that the information was not correct.

“I've said it before and it remains unchanged: there is no direct military threat to Sweden,” he told news agency TT.

Asked about the Swedish opposition Moderate party's suggestion that the government should call an advisory study (Försvarsberedning) to produce a review of the country's security situation, Löfven replied:

“The defence minister (Peter Hultqvist) can answer that. There is no direct military threat to Sweden, but we have long been able to note that the security situation has changed, not least because of what happened in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.”

Löfven and Sweden will co-host a leaders' summit dedicated to assisting refugees on Tuesday, alongside US President Obama and leaders from Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Jordan and Mexico.

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