GSAC Аналитика

The Swedes, Non-Aligned and the Russian Threat

The Swedes, Non-Aligned and the Russian Threat

Azerbaijani colleagues continue to raise the right topics – comment for Zerkalo.az: …

Regarding Sweden’s security policy, I do not quite agree with the definition of “yesterday was still quiet”. Yes, the Swedish principle of neutrality and non-alignment did not imply harsh statements or gestures for many years. However, this does not mean that Stockholm did not assess the challenges and risks soberly, or did not develop its security defense sector in the broad sense of the word.

Let me remind you that 10 million neutral Sweden has one of the most developed military-industrial complexes in the world. In the segments of the aircraft industry, naval equipment, radar systems, and so on, whole high-tech research and production clusters have been created, which in turn are part of the world’s leading transnational corporations. The latest example is Sweden is taking part in the British 6th generation fighter program. Since 2009, the NORDEFCO (Nordic Defense Cooperation) format has been actively working. All this means that Sweden has long been, one way or another, without unambiguous “signs” integrated into the Euro-Atlantic security space. “Oboronka” works under the standards of the Alliance, the army is accordingly armed, therefore, with a certain mutual political decision, Sweden’s entry into NATO can happen, including “suddenly” – in terms of compliance, the Swedes will have no problems.

Of course, Sweden could not help reacting to the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the war unleashed by the Kremlin in eastern Ukraine – the processes that launched the erosion of the global security system. The latest statements by the head of the Swedish Defense Ministry quoted by you speak for themselves. Since 2015, Sweden has systematically and significantly increased defense spending (in terms of rearmament of the army – with an emphasis on its own defense industry), in 2017 they returned the military conscription, and all this against the backdrop of lively discussions in society and parliament about possible NATO membership. In parallel, the prospect of creating a military alliance with Finland is being discussed. Therefore, the current situational majority in the Swedish parliament on NATO looks like a logical development of events – the increasingly toxic Kremlin only contributed to this by its behavior. Apparently, the new presidential administration in Washington intends to consolidate the efforts of the United States and Europe to counter Russian expansion. Restoring and strengthening unity in NATO is an expected scenario that can manifest itself in different ways. Including in the form of further expansion of the Alliance or through the creation of new situational defense alliances, not necessarily formalized. In these processes, both Sweden and Finland will be active players in jointly countering the Russian threat in the Baltic, North Atlantic, Arctic, etc. Everything goes to the fact that for a number of countries participating in the Non-Aligned Movement in a number of regions, membership here will be formal – it will simply not be possible to avoid situational defense alliances. Azerbaijan, by the way, is the most striking example of this …

Vladimir Kopchak, interview with Zerkalo.az portal