Sweden’s Greens rethink defence spending position after Russia’s airspace violations

Russia's violation of Sweden's airspace has some political parties rethinking their position on defence spending. (iStock)
Russia’s violation of Sweden’s airspace has some political parties rethinking their position on defence spending. (iStock)
Last week Russian warplanes flew into Swedish airspace, an incident that is even making the pacifist-rooted Greens reconsider their opposition to defence spending.

“What has happened is extremely serious”, said the party secretary for the Greens, Anders Wallner.

Russian and Nato planes have violated Swedish airspace in the past 12 months, but Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt says this is the most serious case.

The Greens stood for election on a platform of reducing defence spending, for example, they oppose buying the next generation of Gripen planes for the airforce.

But now Anders Wallner says to Swedish Television SVT they are ready to discuss the issue of building up Sweden’s military, as part of a government that “takes a shared responsibility.”

He also signaled a hope that Sweden’s future government, in light of the fact that the Social Democrats and the Greens together did not win a majority in the recent elections, would be based on cross-bloc cooperation, breaking up the system of centre-left and centre-right coalitions that has dominated Swedish politics for more than ten years.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada boycotts Moscow Arctic Council meeting over Ukraine, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland’s environment minister defends “Finlandisation” comments, Yle News

Norway:  Nordics rethink security after Ukraine crisis, Yle News

Russia:  Sanctions on Russia – Helping or hindering the Arctic environment?, Blog by Mia Bennett

Sweden: Sweden pushes for tougher Russia sanctions, Radio Sweden

United States:  Can an aggressive Russia remain U.S.’s nice Arctic neighbor?, Alaska Public Radio Network

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