Finland’s president sees rising non-civilian traffic in Baltic

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Finland`s President Sauli Niinistö. (Yle)
Finland`s President Sauli Niinistö. (Yle)
Finland’s president Sauli Niinistö said he planned to ask the visiting Swedish premier about possible sightings of foreign craft in the waters off Stockholm.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said on Monday that a violation of Swedish territorial waters would be a serious issue if it were to be confirmed. He commented on the possible presence of a foreign underwater vessel in the Stockholm archipelago during an interview with the Lännen Media consortium of newspapers.

“There is much more traffic on the Baltic Sea now than in the past and it is clearly not all civilian traffic,” Niinistö said.

Earlier this month, the Finnish Environment Institute reported that Russian vessels and a helicopter had interfered with the work of its research vessel Aranda off the coast of Sweden, and that its crew saw a submarine nearby.

The president declined to speculate specifically on the current situation, noting that the Swedes themselves seem to have little factual knowledge about it.

Niinistö said that he planned to discuss the matter with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in the afternoon during the latter’s first official visit to Helsinki.

Lännen Media interviewed the president at his Helsinki residence, Mäntyniemi. The occasion was the publication of a book about the presidential summer residence near Turku, known as Kultaranta. The LM group comprises a dozen provincial papers, including Turun Sanomat, Aamulehti and Kaleva.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canadian Military explores sunken sailing ship in the Arctic, Radio Canada International

Finland:  No need for diplomatic action on Aranda, Yle News

Norway:  Pacific Akulas arrive in Severodvinsk, Russia, Barents Observer

Russia:  Hamburg & the Northern Sea Route, Blog by Mia Bennett

Sweden: Sweden continues search for suspected foreign submarine, Radio Sweden

United States:  Pentagon: Climate change is national security risk, Barents Observer

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