Strengthened protection after increased threat assessment in the Baltic Sea

29 November, 2023

Starting Friday, two Swedish corvettes will patrol the Baltic Sea – as part of a major investment in the protection of critical underwater infrastructure.

Defense Minister Pål Jonson (M). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT Archive image.

That is what the defense ministers in the defense cooperation Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) decided on Tuesday.

– In total, it is about 20 warships, says Defense Minister Pål Jonson (M).

– This is the first time that JEF is being used in this way by being able to conduct increased maritime surveillance in the Baltic Sea aimed at protecting critical infrastructure under water, Jonson tells TT and continues:

– The background to that is, of course, that the security situation has continued to deteriorate. Through this increased presence, you have better conditions to be able to follow other ship movements in the Baltic Sea and you also can get a better picture of the sea situation.

Signal to Russia

According to Jonson, the operation is an extension of NATO’s increased support after the discovered gas leak in the Gulf of Finland. The measure runs from Friday until December 15 – with the possibility of an extension.

In addition to protecting critical infrastructure, the measure must also deter.

It is also about deterrence and acting in a stabilizing manner in the Baltic Sea. It concerns, among other things, that Russia constitutes a dimensioning factor for our defense capability and constitutes a security threat to all countries around the Baltic Sea.

Damage to cables and wires

In recent times, damage has been discovered on several occasions to cables and wires in the Baltic Sea. In October, the government announced that a telecommunications cable between Sweden and Estonia had been damaged. Just over a week earlier, sabotage was discovered on a gas pipeline and a telecom cable between Finland and Estonia. Last fall, a total of four leaks were also discovered on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines that run from Russia to Germany.

JEF is a defense cooperation between ten countries in northern Europe. Sweden has participated since 2017.

Text: TT/Nyhetsbyrån
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

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