HMS Illustrious on a 2001 visit to Stockholm
War games

"A Backdoor Sneak into NATO"

There are concerns about a NATO-led military exercise to be held in northern Sweden in June. Loyal Arrow will be the largest air manoeuvres ever held here.    

Some 2000 personnel from 10 countries are taking part, including the British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious and around 50 warplanes.

The municipal government in Luleå has received assurances that HMS Illustrious will not be carrying nuclear weapons, but still wants the British ship to remain outside the city’s port during the June 8-16 war games.

Anna Ek, president of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society says the exercises will undermine security in the region, because neighboring countries can see it as a threat. She says the only reason for the manoeuvres is as a backdoor sneak for Sweden to get closer to NATO.

Sweden is a non-aligned nation, but is a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. (gw)

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