During the weekend, the Armed Forces strengthened its presence on Gotland and several military transports were sent to the island.

Michael Claesson, head of the Swedish Armed Forces, tells Ekot that the Armed Forces have carried out various activities and that several Russian landing craft are about to leave the Baltic Sea.

The Swedish Armed Forces' chief of operations, Michael Claesson, believes that this is a new security situation that has deteriorated for several years.

Recent developments, linked to the crisis between the West and Russia and the Russian escalation towards Ukraine, have strengthened that picture, he says.

- We want to be able to be on site in military strategically and operationally important places and Gotland is one of them, he says in Morgonstudion.

"Should sleep well at night"

When asked how serious the security situation is in Sweden, Michael Claesson answers that there is reason to be vigilant in various ways.

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At the same time, I think that you should sleep well at night, that is one of the reasons why we do this type of activity, so that people feel safe and know that we see and hear, he says and continues:

– Vi befinner oss under någon form av lågintensivt hot.

Han menar att Sverige skulle försvara sig om vi skulle angripas och betonar att det skulle kosta en angripare ”oerhört mycket” om de försöker att attackera oss.

– Om vi jämför med Krim 2014 uppstod osäkerheter de inledande dagarna vilket gjorde att man inte valde att använda väpnat våld för att försvara sig, det kommer vi att göra, säger Michael Claesson.

Samarbete inom EU

Han betonar även vikten av de europeiska grannländerna kring Östersjön där Sverige har de närmaste banden till Finland.

– Vi har ett nära samarbete med alla grannländer inom EU och med Nato inom ramen för partnerskapet, säger Michael Claesson.  

Skulle den ökade militära närvaron skulle kunna förvärra situationen?

- It is my absolute assessment that this is not the case.

We do not threaten anyone, we are on our territory and in international waters and we behave in such a way that it cannot be perceived as any kind of threat or risk of escalation.

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