Russia Update: Sweden Confirms Submarine in October Was Foreign Vessel

November 14, 2014
Photo taken by amateur of submarine in Swedish waters.

Welcome to our new column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

Russian legislators finally received an answer to their queries from military authorities about soldiers killed in combat in Ukraine — which is that they can’t say, it’s a “state secret.” And there is still no answer as to the origin of the gas leak spread across Moscow.


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.

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.

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.

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:

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

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.

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