"Gotland is a big worry for us. It could be overrun by Russia in minutes and then all of us would be highly vulnerable to an attack," warned one politician recently as it appears NATO fear-mongering and Russia sabre-rattling is having a significant effect on many of the Baltic Sea's border nations. As The FT reports, Sweden will put troops back on the strategic Baltic Sea island of Gotland after a decade-long absence and will also step up military exercises around the island involving the army, navy and air force. “Hunting submarines is a priority area," Sweden's defense minister explained, adding that "everything we do is a part of underlining Swedish sovereignty."
Peter Hultqvist, Sweden’s defence minister, said he would recommend placing a company of about 150 soldiers on Gotland, which lies almost midway between mainland Sweden and Latvia in the middle of the Baltic Sea. Sweden will also step up military exercises around the island involving the army, navy and air force.
“Gotland has a strategic location in the Baltic Sea and this is also an indication to the outside world that we recognise that Gotland is very important. Everything we do is a part of underlining Swedish sovereignty,” he told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
The three Baltic states, fearing the rise of Russian activity and influence in the region, had nervously eyed the lack of permanent troops on the island as well as Sweden’s status in not belonging to Nato. “Gotland is a big worry for us. It could be overrun by Russia in minutes and then all of us would be highly vulnerable to an attack,” a senior Estonian politician said recently.
It underlines the depth of concern in the Nordic country, which has historically portrayed itself as neutral, over Russia’s behaviour in Ukraine and the Baltic Sea. Russian aeroplanes have violated Swedish airspace and practised a dummy bombing raid on Stockholm in recent years while a hunt for a foreign submarine last year is widely thought to have involved the Russians.
“Hunting submarines is a priority area,” Mr Hultqvist said of the increased spending. “We have had incidents that show it is very important to have increased capacity for anti-submarine warfare. We must do what we can to keep and develop our skills.”
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None of this will end well.. so buy European stocks (especially German ones).