Military chief rejects calls for changed defence policy

Sweden does not need to change its military doctrine over events in Ukraine, says the Supreme Commander of the Armed forces.

On Tuesday government minister Jan Björklund said that the Russian incursion into Ukraine demands a new system for analysing and dealing with potential threats. Björklund is Education Minister, but leader of the Liberal party, which wants Sweden to join Nato.

The Supreme Commander of the Armed forces is Sverker Göranson, who made headlines in December 2012 when he said Sweden could only defend its territory from an invasion for a week, before needing help from abroad.

On Thursday Göranson said to news agency TT that the current defence reforms are on the right path, and should be carried out, and that the Baltic island of Gotland does not need any extra permanent defences.

The defence spokesman for Sweden's main party, the opposition Social Democrats, says Gotland's defence does need to be strengthened, but that they agree with Sverker Göranson that no permanent bases are needed.