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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russia Update: November 14, 2014

Publication: Russia Update
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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Sweden Confirms Submarine in October Was Foreign Vessel

Sweden confirmed today that the submarine seen in October off its coast was a foreign vessel that violated Swedish territorial integiration.

The Swedish Navy issued a statement:

"There is no doubt, we have excluded all other explanations. Swedish territory has been seriously and unacceptably violated by a foreign power," says Supreme Commander Sverker Göranson.

On Friday the 17th October the Swedish Armed Forces received credible information on foreign underwater activity in the Stockholm archipelago. An intelligence operation including naval-, ground- and air units was initiated immediately. Apart from the military resources, observations from the public provided important data.

"The decisive observation is made by the Swedish Armed Forces’ sensors. It is a result of a highly skilled operational conduct. The observation meets the requirements for the highest level of assessment grading, confirmed submarine," says Supreme Commander Sverker Göranson.

Further information could not be provided so as not to compromise Swedish security.

Sweden's military gave a press conference today about the findings but said they had been unable to determine which country it came from, reported.

"We have confirmation that there has been a small submarine in the archipelago," he told reporters.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven added: "We will defend our territorial integrity using all means at our disposal."

He also announced the creation of a new national security council amid a deteriorating global security situation.

The Local said warships, minesweepers, helicopters and more than 200 troops scoured an area about 30 to 60 kilometres (20 to 40 miles) from Stockholm in October following reports of a "man-made object" in the water. But the Swedish military called off the search after it said the suspicious vessel had apparently moved on.

Russia mocked Sweden last month for implying that the submarine was from Russia by continuing to search for "foreign submarine activity" in its waters.

The Kremlin blamed Sweden for heightening tensions in the Baltic Sea:

"Such unfounded actions of the Swedish military department, fueled up with cold war rhetoric can only lead to escalation of tensions in the region. As a result, they may undermine the foundations of maritime economic activities in the Baltic Sea rather than strengthen security of a separate country,"  the representative of the Russian Defense Ministry said.  

The official said the Swedish military actions were reminiscent of a "tragicomedy," and that the chances of finding a Russian submarine were  "like those that Fille and Rulle had in capturing Karlsson on the Roof," citing a popular Swedish children's book translated into Russian.

The New York Times said that despite the reluctance of the Swedish government to name Russia, "many in Sweden and elsewhere suspected that the submarine was Russian."

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick