Finland wouldn’t organise a submarine hunt “farce,” says defence minister

Finnish Minister of Defence Carl Haglund  in January 2014. (Bart Maat /AFP/Getty Images)
Finnish Minister of Defence Carl Haglund in January 2014. (Bart Maat /AFP/Getty Images)
Finland’s Defence Minister Carl Haglund has hit the headlines in Sweden after saying the Swedish military’s recent search for “foreign underwater activity” off Stockholm was a “farce”.

He said Finland would strive to avoid a similar situation.

Defence Minister Carl Haglund appears to have criticised Sweden’s handling of suspected underwater activity by a foreign power. In an interview with Yle’s Swedish language service, Haglund said his approach would differ markedly to that taken by the Swedish authorities during a recent hunt for a submersible or submarine in the Stockholm archipelago.

“If sightings cannot be confirmed, we won’t organize a farce,” said Haglund. “That is not the way to improve the credibility of our defence, and we wouldn’t want to demonstrate to anyone who might be in our waters what kind of capabilities we have to observe what happens on the coastline. There could therefore be good reasons to avoid any publicity.”

His comments have caused a stir in Sweden, where the week-long hunt made global headlines. Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told Svenska Dagbladet that he did not want to comment on Haglund’s statements, but that Sweden had in his opinion performed a serious search operation to ensure their territorial integrity.

The Swedish military called off the search for the underwater vessel on Friday.

Related stories from around the North:

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

Finland:  Finland’s president sees rising non-civilian traffic in Baltic, Yle News

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

Russia:  Russia says no need for NATO in Arctic, expands own military presence, Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s military is in touch with “something” in sub hunt: reports, Radio Sweden

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

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