Sweden’s opposition Liberal Party calls for new Defence Committee discussions

The Swedish corvette HMS Visby under way on the Mysingen Bay on October 21, 2014 on their fifth day of searching for a suspected foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago. (Fredrik Sandberg/AFP/Getty Images)
The Swedish corvette HMS Visby under way on the Mysingen Bay on October 21, 2014 on their fifth day of searching for a suspected foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago. (Fredrik Sandberg/AFP/Getty Images)
Sweden’s opposition Liberal Party has called on the government to call in a new session of the Defence Committee, a special forum where the government and the political parties seek consensus on security issues.

Liberal leader Jan Björklund says the security situation has deteriorated so quickly that the previous committee’s report from the spring is no longer relevant.

Björklund points to developments in Russia and Ukraine, as well as recent violations of Swedish airspace and territorial waters. He also repeats a longstanding party desire for Sweden to join NATO.

But the new Defence Minister, Social Democrat Peter Hultqvist, doesn’t want to risk a delay in defence legislation by appointing a new Defence Committee. He says the opposition will be invited to take part in the next discussions on security, which is planned for next year.

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