Photo: Brett Ascarelli / Radio Sweden
Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström, of the Social Democrats, practically beseiged by press after making the announcement to recognize Palestine. Photo: Brett Ascarelli / Radio Sweden

Foreign Minister:"Russia seriously scares the Swedes"

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said this weekend that for the first time, Swedes are seriously scared by Russia.

"Russia scares the Swedish citizens," Foreign Minister Margot Wallström told newspaper SvD in an interview. "Here are the Swedes, for the first time, seriously scared. Scared of Russia, of what they are upto, and think they are unpredictable and erratic and do things that are unconstitutional by law."

Last Friday, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, his defense minister and the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces told media that it is now proven that there has been a "serious and unacceptable violation" of Swedish waters by a small foreign submarine, although they did not know where it came from.  

Margot Wallström in her interview with SvD echoed Stefan Löfven's comments on Friday. She said:" We are a peaceful country. But no one should be in any doubt that we demand respect. We are prepared to act to protect our non-alignment and our borders."

Although the submarine's nationality is not known, Margot Wallström said that Russia is already very high on the watch list. Not just because of developments in eastern Ukraine, but Wallström also criticized the Russian attitude towards the countries around the Baltic Sea.

"If we are afraid - it's nothing compared to how the Baltics feel. There has been a series of provocations against the Baltic countries, which disturbs us very much." In a recent interview on SVT,  Putin's adviser Sergei Markov said that "You in Sweden need not fear. Latvia and Estonia, however, have reason to be afraid. If there is a big war, it is possible that there will not be anything left of these countries."

During her first week in the job, Foreign Minister Wallström angered Israel by recognizing Palestine.

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