Friday, July 1, 2022
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'This is huge' Swedish Air Force jet deployed over Belarus border in threat to Putin


The Scandinavian country is not a member of NATO, but could be ready to trade in its neutral status in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. News of Stockholm’s decision to send a jet was revealed by twitter user Jamming. They wrote: “Swedish Air Force Korpen active over Poland border area with Belarus.

 

“Sweden part of surveillance of Belarus and Ukraine!!!

“This is a huge political statement! Update on SwAF Korpen.”

The Gulfstream IV aircraft was tracked taking off from Linking airport and then flying towards the city of Grodno in western Belarus.

It was flying at an altitude of just under 12,000 metres at a speed of 836 kilometres per hour.

Although Sweden is not a NATO member, it is an “enhanced opportunity partner” of the military alliance.

The government also signed a statement in 2018 pledging to strengthen its defence cooperation.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson rejected calls by opposition parties earlier this month for the country to join NATO.

She argued that such a move would further destabilise Europe.

Her statement came in the wake of threats from Moscow that NATO membership would bring “serious military-political consequences” for Sweden.

However, there is growing public support among Swedes for their country to join the transatlantic military alliance.

A poll conducted in late February by broadcaster SVT found that 41 percent of the public supported NATO membership, while thirty-five percent were against.

READ MORE:Putin health worries as Russian President ‘not looking so great’

Helsinki and Stockholm are sending guns and anti-tank weapons to Ukraine’s army, as they fight to repel the invaders.

For Sweden, it is the first time it has offered military aid since 1939, when it assisted Finland against the Soviet Union.

A former Swedish Prime Minister hinted that the political tectonic plates might be shifting over the country’s NATO stance, despite the recent comments from Ms Andersson.

Carl Bildt tweeted: “The unthinkable might start to become thinkable,”

Ylva Johansson, a Swedish politician who is the acting EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, said any decision on whether to join NATO should rest with the government of the day and should not be put to a referendum.



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