Security expert: “Russia seeks to block Baltic energy independence”

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The Nordbalt submarine power cable between Klaipėda in Lithuania and Nybro in Sweden. (Nick Näslund/Swedish Radio)
The Nordbalt submarine power cable between Klaipėda in Lithuania and Nybro in Sweden. (Nick Näslund/Swedish Radio)
Sweden is making diplomatic protests following repeated disruptions by Russian warships of cable-laying work in the Baltic – an action which international security expert Keir Giles says is a sign of an increasingly aggressive Russia.

Lithuania said on Friday that a Russian navy vessel had illegally ordered a Swedish-owned cable-laying ship to change course. Swedish diplomats planned to raise the matter with Russia on Monday, with Pezhman Fivrin, press secretary for Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, telling Swedish media that Sweden has already been in touch with Russia to stress that its disruptions in the Baltic are “unacceptable”.

Keir Giles, an international security expert, and an Associate Fellow at the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House in London tells Radio Sweden: “The word mobilisation is being heard more and more often in Russia in all sorts of different contexts. There are different indications of Russian society being prepared to be put on a war footing.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Indigenous leaders warn international community, continued tensions with Russia will harm Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Denmark:  Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News

Finland:  Finland’s president talks Arctic, Ukraine, Iran in phoner with Putin, Yle News

Norway: Norway must ramp up military in response to Russia: report, Barents Observer

Russia: Russian governor praises role of Barents Cooperation, Barents Observer

Sweden: Sunken Soviet submarines threaten massive radioactive contamination, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. Arctic rep: Russia’s Arctic buildup not necessarily martial, Alaska Public Radio Network

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