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Reuters: Sweden warns of Russian threat as NATO membership decision nears

A new Swedish security report highlights threats from Russia, China, and Iran aiming to “change the current security system.”
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the meeting with Swedish Prime-Minister Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on 19 August 2023. Photo: Presidential Office
Reuters: Sweden warns of Russian threat as NATO membership decision nears

Russia is the main international security threat to Sweden, and foreign enemies may try to exploit a risk of extremist violence from Islamists and the far right, the Swedish security service has warned, as per Reuters.

In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Sweden has abandoned its two centuries of military non-alignment and has applied for NATO membership. Stockholm expects that the last holdout, Hungary, to ratify its NATO membership on 26 February.

“We must all learn to live with the serious security situation,” said Charlotte von Essen, the head of the security service, during a press conference presenting the annual report on threats to the country.

According to Charlotte von Essen, Russia, China, and Iran and their cooperation constitute the biggest threat to Sweden as they work together to “change the current security system.”

Last August, the agency elevated its terrorism threat level assessment from three to four on a scale of five, following multiple incidents in which individuals in Sweden and neighboring countries burned Korans, causing outrage among Muslims and provoking jihadist threats.

In a statement accompanying the report, the security service said threats from both the far right and Islamist groups could be exploited by Sweden’s enemies abroad.

Earlier, Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson announced that Stockholm would send its largest support package yet, worth nearly $683 million, to Ukraine, adding that Russia cannot be allowed to win the war. The package included artillery ammunition, an RBS70 air defense system, TOW anti-tank missiles, and underwater weapons.

Sweden to send its largest aid package worth over $ 680 million to Ukraine

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