The governing centre-right alliance has agreed to raise Sweden’s defence budget because of concerns about Russian foreign policy.
After a series of cutbacks, the military budget is getting a rethink. Minister of Defence Sten Tolgfors has confirmed to Dagens Nyheter newspaper that the question will be taken up in connection with the coming autumn budget.
At the same time, the Liberal party’s defence spokesman Allan Widman wants Sweden to increase its presence in Afghanistan and take part in Nato’s Baltic Air Policing operations.
Although the Swedish forces take part in NATO led missions, Sweden is not a NATO member. According to Widman, the Georgian war and the breakdown in relations between Russia and the rest of the world make it even more important that Sweden become a fully-fledged NATO member.
Sweden currently has around 350 soldiers in Afghanistan and the Liberals want to increase that to 500.