There is considerable concern in Sweden over reports of Russian attack planes allegedly violating Swedish airspace at the beginning of this month.
According to some (unconfirmed) reports, two of the planes had nuclear weapons. “If this is true, it is an incident of a very different magnitude.”
On March 2, four Russian attack planes violated Swedish airspace east of the island of Gotland. The news was reported by local newspapers such as Aftonbladet and Expressen and has since been confirmed by the Swedish army. However, according to TV4 Nyheterna, two of those planes (of the Sukhoi Su-24 type) were also equipped with nuclear weapons – although that news has not yet been officially confirmed. “This was an intentional act with the aim of intimidating Sweden,” it said on TV4.
“I find it hard to believe, but if this is true, it is an incident of a very different magnitude,” former Lieutenant Colonel Jörgen Elfving told Aftonbladet. “Going out with nuclear weapons is not something you just do. I don’t think anything like this has happened before – outside possible during the Cold War. So if this is true, it means a raised warning finger to our country,” said Elfving. According to him, this may have to do with the fact that Sweden has plans to join NATO as a result of the war in Ukraine.
The fact that the Swedish army has not yet confirmed the news of the nuclear weapons, but has not yet denied it, is not a good thing, according to Elfving. “If you don’t say anything, you only increase anxiety,” he says. “In the information society we live in, this will only lead to a plethora of speculation and conspiracies, and that will not benefit our country.”