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Tuesday 25.07.2017 | Name days: Jēkabs, Žaklīna

Report: Sweden’s joining NATO would deter Russia from invading Baltic region

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUMembership in NATO would not help avert problems with Sweden’s defence, but it will deter Russia from invading the Baltic Sea region, as mentioned in a report compiled following an order from the government.

Authors of this report, which was provided to TT before its publication, authors avoided taking sides in the debate regarding Sweden’s possible joining of NATO. Nevertheless, the report mentioned the possible pros and cons of this membership.

In summer 2015, the left-centrist government ordered diplomat Krister Bringeus to assess Sweden’s military cooperation with different countries. He concluded that membership in NATO would clear up the uncertainty about Sweden’s behaviour should a conflict break out in the Baltic region.

With that, conflict-deterrence capabilities would grow, the report states. Authors of the report also add that it is hard to estimate how much those capabilities would grow. Closer cooperation with Finland, which is not part of NATO, would also increase deterrence-capabilities.

Although results of July’s survey show that the majority of Sweden’s citizens oppose joining NATO, support in favour of joining the alliance has grown in recent years along with Russia’s growing aggressiveness.

According to TT, the report basically crosses out the possibility of Russia attacking Sweden directly. However, the report does state that the most likely scenario would be Sweden’s involvement in an armed conflict if Russia decided to invade Baltic States. The possibility of such a scenario, according to authors of the report, is low.

It is estimated that Russia could successfully occupy Baltic States within a matter of days. But in this case, Moscow may decide to deploy its anti-air defences on Sweden’s territory – in Gotland, for example – to prevent NATO from performing flights above the Baltic Sea.

Bringeus notes that Sweden would have to ask for assistance in the event of such a scenario. At least three weeks would be necessary for reinforcements to arrive from USA.

Membership in NATO would not prevent such problems, the report mentions, because the front lines of NATO member states’ defences consist of national forces.

The report also mentions that if Sweden decides to join NATO, the procedure would take 12 to 15 months.

Membership in NATO would also ruin political relations with Russia – a country that is very hard to read. Authors of the report also believe it will replace all manner of political discussions with military threats.

Ref: 102.109.109.6882


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  1. Robert Jennings says:

    Dear Vijole Arbas
    I, an expat though I have lived in Lithuania for 22 years, actually understand your concerns. When I was growing up in Ireland, the 1950’s were the worst experience of Emigration – huge numbers leaving for UK or USA. The so called emigration wake became commonplace because once gone they would likely never return. The 1960’s were less but still bad enough – we had begun to exert some control over our economy. We joined the EEC in 1973 and had a brief window of reverse emigration but the 1980’s were terrible; the only glimmer of hope was the saying “we will be back”.
    We had a bitter experience of occupation, for 800 years, by England and fought a war of independence – 1918 – 1922 with them to gain our freedom. It was a brutal war, as all wars are, and memories are long. An old woman I know in West Cork will still not acknowledge an English Person in the Street.
    We lost our language during the 800 years and Brian Friel wrote a wonderful play “Translations” showing how all local place names were changed to ‘English’ – losing any meaning in the process.
    We had a long period of growing to understand the balance of Irish, Anglo Irish and shared culture. It is not over but it is being addressed in a peaceful environment and there is some progress.

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