It's April 6, 2022. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has been going on for six weeks and the leader of the Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, is giving his security policy speech at the Swedish Defense University in Stockholm.
"Sweden must do as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and the Baltic countries – and expel all the alleged diplomats who are in fact Russian intelligence officers," Kristersson said.
"It is possible: SAPO knows who they are. It is incomprehensible that the government only expels three, when we know that there are more."
On the same day, the Moderates' official Twitter account published a picture with the caption "Throw out all Russian spies from Sweden!" and wrote that "everything else is playing Russian roulette with Sweden's security".
Six months in power
Just over a year has now passed since the speech – and the Kristersson government has been in power for more than six months. Until Tuesday, no suspected Russian intelligence officer had been expelled from Sweden.
But during the interview with SVT, the day before the publication of a comprehensive investigation into Russian spies in Sweden, Foreign Minister Tobias Billström (M) announced that five Russian diplomats were expelled.
"Of course there is a difference between being in opposition and in government. It always has been, it always will be. Because you don't have access to all the information when you're in opposition," says Billström and continues:
"We are making a decision that is well considered and which means that five Russian diplomats may leave Sweden because they have engaged in activities that are not compatible with the mission to be a diplomat under the Vienna Convention.
13 active spies
SVT's Uppdrag granskning has mapped 21 suspected Russian intelligence officers who operated under diplomatic cover in Sweden – and can reveal that 13 of them are active today.
The revelation is in line with the Swedish Security Service's earlier statement that every third Russian diplomat actually works for one of Russia's intelligence services.