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Russian Forces in Military Exercises Here

Published tisdag 4 oktober 2005 kl 11.47
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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov (L) meets his Swedish counterpart Leni Bjorklund
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Count Peter de Lacy, who led the 1719 Russian invasion of Sweden
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The Soviet submarine that ran aground in southern Sweden in 1981

Russian troops will carry out joint military operations here with the Swedish army in the upcoming winter months.

The announcement came after a meeting in Moscow between Swedish Defence Minister Leni Björklund and her Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov. The operation, called Snowflake, will be the first time that Russian troops carry out joint exercises in Sweden.

There will also be direct contacts between Russian forces from Kaliningrad, the Baltic coastal enclave between Poland and Lithuania, and ground forces from southern Sweden, starting next year.

The two ministers also discussed cooperation on ecological issues in the Baltic Sea, including making Russian military bases near St. Petersburg more envirornmentally-friendly, and naval training exercises for rescuing submarines.

The move reflects post-Cold War relations. It’s been almost two hundred years since the last time Sweden was in a war, but there are still stories told about the 1719 Russian invasion just north of Stockholm.

During the Cold War the Swedish Navy often hunted for presumed Soviet submarine intruders.


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