The first story is from Sputnik, though it reads as a NATO press release. The second is from Reuters.
Sweden has moved to ramp up security on the largest Baltic Sea island of Gotland with a view to “adapting” its security strategy to the “tense situation” on the Russian-Ukrainian border, located some 1,700km southeast.
A rapid response tactical unit of the Swedish Armed Forces has been deployed to the island, the military said in a statement on Saturday. A part of the unit was flown in on Friday evening by the US C-17 heavy transport aircraft as part of Sweden’s “international collaboration” program while the rest arrived by ferry from mainland Sweden.
While Claesson’s comments seemingly downplayed an immediate “Russian threat,” articles published in the Swedish media on Saturday talked about the military strengthening its position as it prepares to defend “Sweden’s most vulnerable place.”
“Should Putin plan anything against the Baltic countries, he would first have to take Gotland. We see the Russian troop movements and we have to take this scenario seriously,” the official claimed….
On Saturday, former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an interview with Finnish outlet Yle that “a Russian attack would provoke a discussion in Finland and Sweden regarding future NATO membership,” claiming that in the event the two nations applied for membership, the bloc would “decide on it overnight.”
Sweden’s military said on Thursday it was ramping up its visible activities on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland amid increased tensions between NATO and Russia and a recent deployment of Russian landing craft in the Baltic.
Gotland, Sweden’s biggest island, is strategically important and lies around 330 kilometres (205 miles) from Kaliningrad, the headquarters of Russia’s Baltic Fleet. In 2019 Sweden deployed an updated ground-to-air missile defence system on the island.
Lieutenant General Michael Claesson, Chief of Joint Operations at the Armed Forces, told Reuters that from Thursday troops were patrolling the harbour and airport of Visby, Gotland’s main town.