Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors

New Defence Bill Presented

Sweden’s Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors has presented the government’s new defence bill. Negotiations within Sweden’s governing 4 party centre-right coalition goverment continued through the night on the contents of the plan, which stakes out the way Sweden’s military will develop over the next 5 years.

The plans were due to be presented last year but were delayed following the Russian attacks on Georgia.

The bill includes new employment forms for soldiers, meaning that they can have a civil job, but then be called back to the military as and when necessary. The government wants 50 000 soldiers to be ready to be called up with less than a week’s notice in case of heightened military tensions.

Defence Minister Tolgfors says the new plans mean a major reinforcement of Sweden’s defence capabilities. Sweden will get a more practical military, with smaller and more flexible units, he claims.

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