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Vladimir Putin is “watching closely” Sweden's Gotland. “If he marched in, he could threaten Alliance countries from the sea.”

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Vladimir Putin is closely watching Gotland, a Swedish island with a strategic location in the Baltic Sea, because one of his goals is to gain control over the Baltic Sea, said the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, General Micael Byden. “Whoever controls Gotland controls the Baltic Sea,” he added. As he declared, “we must not allow the Baltic Sea to become Putin's playground.”

“The times of peace are over. The war in Ukraine has changed the political situation in Europe (…)” – emphasized the military officer in an interview for the German portal RND published on Wednesday, explaining the reasons for increasing the military presence Sweden on Gotland.

When asked whether he thought the Russian president was “looking at Gotland,” Byden replied “yes, and closely,” and “probably also the (Finland-owned) Åland Islands.” – If Putin marched on Gotland, he could threaten the Alliance countries from the sea. This would mean the end of peace and stability in the Nordic and Scandinavian regions, he said.

GotlandShutterstock

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He added that Sweden “is able to use the island also in offensive operations if necessary” and also contribute to the security of other countries. FOR THIS.

“We must not allow the Baltic Sea to become Putin's playground.”

“For Putin, the Baltic Sea is as important as it is for us to remain open and safe. If Russia took control of it and blocked it, it would have a huge impact on life in Sweden and all other countries bordering the Baltic Sea,” Byden emphasized. “We must not allow the Baltic Sea to become Putin's playground,” he added.

He also pointed to the Russian shadow fleet, i.e. the often exploited ships that make it possible, as a security threat Russia exporting petroleum products despite sanctions and reloading oil, among others, off the coast of Gotland.

Åland IslandsRafał Lesiecki, tvn24.pl

These “very old, rusty” units pose a threat primarily to the environment. “Russia could create an ecological disaster right on our doorstep and make it look like an accident,” Byden warned. “There is no better way for Russia to sneak up on us than to mask its presence in the form of an old tanker. Russia can also use these ships to eavesdrop on our communications, secret transport or for underwater acts of sabotage,” the general noted.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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