Sweden's National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) is not only spying on Russia's political leadership but also on civilian targets, including the energy sector, as well as on the Baltic nations, in order to share the information with the US, Swedish Television has found.
Swedish Television's investigative documentary series Uppdrag Granskning has obtained documents shared between the NSA and the FRA, which is the Swedish national authority for signals intelligence. The documents show that the FRA has shared intelligence on Russia and the Baltic nations.
"When the Baltic countries became free, the FRA played a role in seeing where they were heading. Now, the authority has found a new niche," a source said, referring to the FRA's interception of cable traffic from the Baltics and Russia, which to a large extent runs via Sweden.
Earlier this week, Swedish Television revealed that Sweden spied on Russian officials and passed their findings along to the United States. The documents obtained by the public service broadcaster come from American whistleblower Edward Snowden and revealed the key role played by FRA in the American spying apparatus.
Reacting to the news, Sweden's defence minister, Karin Enström, told news agency TT that Sweden needs to take necessary measures to protect itself and that clear laws govern intelligence activities.
"We need to conduct intelligence operations to protect Sweden against external threats," said Enström. "We have an operation that takes place within the framework of the FRA, with clear legislation, strict control and parliamentary oversight. But how it is done, and with whom Sweden cooperates, is not public information," she added.