Sweden deploys military to Gotland island in face of Russian threat

Sweden has deployed troops to the island of Gotland after threats from Russia in the Baltic Sea.

© Joel Thungren/AP

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

It's a scent of the Cold War that is currently floating over the Baltic Sea.

To respond to a massive and unusual presence of Russian ships off its coast, Sweden has decided to deploy an emergency force on the island of Gotland, its outpost facing the coasts of the former Soviet bloc.

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With our correspondent in Stockholm,

Frédéric Faux

In Visby, the capital of the island of Gotland, we are used to frequenting tourists who admire the ramparts and medieval churches, but not to see armored vehicles and armed soldiers pacing the cobbled streets.

This deployment of an emergency force, which took place on Friday January 14 and Saturday January 15 using an American military transport plane and also by boat, from Stockholm, aims to respond to an unusual activity of the Russian Navy.

War of nerves between Sweden and Russia

For the past three weeks, six Russian landing craft, capable of carrying men and armored vehicles, have been patrolling the Baltic Sea.

In a tense diplomatic context, in which Russia repeated its desire not to see Sweden and Finland join NATO, the Swedish Minister of Defense wanted to "

 send a signal 

" to show that his country was taking this situation seriously.

A Russian threat that had already prompted Sweden, in 2015, to increase

its military budget

again and two years later to restore military service.

►To listen also: Great report - The return of the barracks in Sweden

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  • Sweden

  • Russia

  • Defense

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