Sweden: Cross-party talks to expand military marred by political feud

Under the proposed reforms the strategic Baltic island of Gotland would get a full batallion to defend it, up from the company of tanks there right now. (Lasse Eskelind/Radio Sweden)
The cross-party talks on Sweden’s defence have called for big changes on Tuesday, described as the biggest increase since the 1940s.

It would mean increasing the amount of people in the military, to reach 90,000, including thousands more being called to compulsory military service every year. There would also be more fighter jets, surface ships and a total of six submarines.

But the political parties are not in agreement on everything, and this could mean serious disruption or delay.

The report’s suggestions are framed as a reaction to a worsening security situation in Sweden’s neighbourhood, most notably Russia’s takeover of Crimea in 2014. The parties’ report fears the Russian government could act in an unpredictable way with little warning. The preparations also take account of long-term threats linked to climate change.

Listen to our full report to hear more.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s 2019 budget slim on hard power Arctic commitments, experts say, Radio Canada International

China: Leaders downplay divisions at Arctic Circle conference in China, The Independent Barents Observer

Finland: Should Russian dual citizens be barred from Finnish military’s upper ranks?, Yle News

Norway: Norway releases Russian man detained over suspicion of espionage, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Quick progress on Russian upgrades to High Arctic airbase, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden-Russia relations hit new low after diplomats expelled, Radio Sweden

United States: Warming climate puts bonds between Arctic nations to the test, Alaska Public Media

Loukas Christodoulou, Radio Sweden

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