Armed Russian Attack on Sweden Cannot Be Ruled Out, Foreign Minister Says

Sweden’s foreign minister has said an armed attack by Russia on Sweden cannot be ruled out.

In a Friday press conference, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde presented findings from a working group that deliberated the security landscape following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Finnish and Swedish NATO membership would be perceived negatively by Russia and lead to response measures,” Linde said. “The assessment is that we will not be exposed to a conventional military attack as a reaction to possible applications for NATO membership.

Sweden’s Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist, left, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde present a security policy analysis during a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden on May 13, 2022. At the press conference Linde said an armed attack by Russia on Sweden “cannot be ruled out.”

“On the other hand, it has been established that an armed attack on Sweden cannot be ruled out.”

Conclusions from the working group’s report found that “Russian provocation and retaliatory measures against Sweden cannot be ruled out during a transition period in connection with a Swedish application for NATO membership.”

Neither Sweden nor Finland are members of NATO, but both nations have been key partners to the alliance. On Thursday, Finland announced it would apply for NATO membership.

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