Swedes in Nato exercise close to Russian border

Starting this Sunday 1,400 Swedes will take part in a two-week military exercise with Nato member close to the Russian border in northern Norway, newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports.

The biannual exercise, called 'Cold Response', invites a total of 16,000 soldiers from 16 countries to rehearse military operations in winter conditions. During the last exercise, two years ago, Russian military officials described the exercise as a provocation but Swedish colonel Jan Mörtberg says to the newspaper that the exercise has been scheduled for years and should not come as a surprise.

"You can't rule out that the Russians will be provoked by the exercise, but we have made it clear that the exercise does not include any scenarios where Russia is the enemy," Mörtberg says.