The Russian invasion in Ukraine has intensified the debate about Sweden’s security policy. Since 2014, Sweden had been bolstering its defense against growing threats to its environment through an increase in military expenditure and cooperation with NATO allies and Finland. Teppo Tauriainen, Swedish ambassador to Spain, underlines in this interview with LA RAZÓN that the Nordic country bases its security policy on “stability and predictability”, as well as solidarity with its neighbors in the event of aggression. The Social Democratic government is having a broad-based discussion on security with the center right opposition. It has made it clear that joining NATO will be one of its campaign axes before the September 11 elections.
Is the Russian invasion in Ukraine a threat to Sweden’s security?
The overall security situation has improved. While we believe there are greater threats, I don’t think the Swedes feel Russia is going to invade Sweden. The events in Ukraine have a direct impact on our neighbors and influence public opinion. We live in a region of high military tension and it is possible that this will affect us. We have tried to increase our defense capabilities since the 2014 invasion of Crimea. While there was an existing plan for Ukraine before the occupation, current circumstances have led to new decisions. Prime minister [Magdalena Andersson]Last week, we announced that we intend to increase military spending to 2 percent of GDP. This is a significant increase from the 1.26% last year.
What about European security?
Are you seeing an increase in cyber threats to Sweden in the last week?
Although I don’t know of any particular case, we have seen cyberattacks from Russia in recent years. We have increased our resources to prevent these attacks.
How can they counter Russian propaganda trying to undermine our democracy
While there is still much to be debate over freedom of information, and the content of the information they broadcast, the Council of the European Union has decided to ban broadcasting from certain Russian media.
Sweden has increased its security since 2014. More military spending, reintroductions of military service, militarization Gotland Isn’t it time for NATO?
This topic is up for debate in Sweden. The Government is very clear. The Government has been very clear. Before the Treaty of Lisbon we used the term neutrality. But as of 2002, we don’t use that word to describe security policy. Since we are part of the EU and its common defense and policy, we have cooperation and collaboration with NATO, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. We have always believed that solidarity is the best policy. If something happens to one of our neighbours, we will support them. In the same manner, solidarity will be shown to us if it happens to Sweden. Since World War II, our security structure was neutral and aimed to not be in a conflict situation. The motto of the new security framework is to not be militarily aligned. Stability and predictability are what we seek. Yesterday, the government established a working party with the opposition parties in order to assess the security situation within Sweden. The analysis will take place quickly and the conclusions will be presented by the government at May’s end. This is not a group that will discuss possible NATO accession, but it will focus on global security issues. Although it is possible that some parties will bring NATO integration to the discussion, the Government has stated that we must conduct a thorough analysis before we can decide where we want to go.
Public opinion can often be more influential than politicians, as they must consider a longer-term view. Our security policy must be stable and predictable. Therefore, changes cannot be made from one day to another if they are not necessary.