On March 2, two Russian Sukhoi 24 and two escorts of Sukhoi 27 fighters took off from Kaliningrad Air Force Base and violated Swedish airspace while flying over the island of Gotland. It is no coincidence that the Swedish Defense Minister was visiting that island on the Baltic Sea at that time. According to TV4, the two combat aircraft carried nuclear weapons. In total, the violation of Swedish airspace lasted about a minute.
The Swedish Air Force, which was already on a high alert due to the war in Ukraine, immediately deployed two JAS 39 Gripen aircraft, which managed to take pictures of the invaders in that short time. In this way, it is possible to ensure that there are nuclear weapons on board the ship. According to TV4, it’s about the two rear devices pictured at the top.
The Swedish Ministry of Defense did not confirm that the plane was carrying nuclear weapons, but emphasized that the violation of the airspace was serious enough and deliberate in itself. “We have analyzed the incident and while I cannot rule out a navigational error (by the Russians), everything indicates that it was a deliberate act,” said Swedish Air Force Commander Karl-Johan Edstrom.
“This is a signal to Sweden that it has nuclear weapons and can also consider using them,” Stefan Ring, a Swedish military expert, told TV4.
Sweden’s prime minister no longer rules out NATO membership
Just days before the breach, Russian President Vladimir Putin had threatened military action against neighboring Sweden and Finland if one of them joined NATO. In view of the current situation, we are very concerned about the incident. This is unprofessional and irresponsible behavior on the Russian side.”
Only tonight, in an interview with public broadcaster SVT, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that she no longer ruled out Sweden’s membership in NATO. Her ruling Social Democratic Party has always been a fierce opponent.
In Sweden, the “freedom of alliance”, which has always kept the country neutral, is very much appreciated. But Anderson said the Russian invasion of Ukraine “dramatically changed the security situation”. “The freedom of the coalition has always kept us out of conflict, but when the security policy papers are modified, we have to do a new analysis and dare to make a new decision.”
Anderson doesn’t want to take concrete steps right now, but there should be a muzzle discussion, you think. Parliamentary elections will be held in Sweden in September, and the centre-right’s main rival of the Moderate Party is eager to make the issue an electoral topic. “These are important issues for Sweden’s security, and it is important to do a proper analysis before making a decision,” Andersson said.
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