Swedish Security Services (SAPO) are warning that Russian agents have been actively working to undermine Swedish cooperation with NATO, according to a report in Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter.
Sweden is currently debating ratification of a host-nation support agreement that was signed between NATO and Sweden in 2014. Finland has already signed and ratified a similar agreement with NATO.
In an interview with Dagens Nyheter, senior SAPO analyst, Wilhelm Unge, said that Russia is behind some of the Swedish dissent against the Nato host-nation pact which us up for a vote at the end of May.
“At least one conference was attended by a person that we can connect to the Russian intelligence service,” Unge told DN. He said that the person had been campaigning against the agreement.
Earlier this year, Swedish Minister of Defence, Peter Hultquist, said that someone was spreading “lies and bloody poems” about the NATO deal.
Last week, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, warned Sweden against further cooperation with NATO. He told a Swedish newspaper that “it’s every country’s right to decide what form its security should take, but one must understand that if military infrastructure approaches Russia’s borders, we would of course have to take the necessary military-technical action. There’s nothing personal in it: it’s just business.”
Russian state media, Sputnik reported on Friday, that Russia would install Iskandar Missles in the north should Sweden move towards closer ties to NATO.
According to Sapo, one third of Russian embassy staff in Sweden actively work outside of what are defined as diplomatic activities as defined by the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations.
Finland’s security services also identify Russia as the country most actively interested in Finland’s internal affairs.