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Man sitting on a park bench.
Jörgen Elfving, a former lieutenant colonel and an author specialising in the Russian military. Credit: Nathalie Rothschild / Radio Sweden

Russia expert: There is a risk of confrontations

Jörgen Elfving: Aurora 17 is a sign that we have changed the focus of our defence efforts
5:02 min

There is talk of rising tensions in the Baltic region as both Sweden and Russia launched major military drills this week.

On Monday, Sweden launched its biggest military exercise in over 20 years. Named Aurora 17, the drill is designed to strengthen Sweden's defences and deterrence effects and it involves a simulated attack on Sweden. Military personnel from a number of Nato member states are taking part, including the US.

Critics on the Left say that this is a Nato-style exercise, though Sweden is not a Nato member, and the critics say that Aurora 17 could lead to increased tensions with Russia.

In fact, Russia launched its own military drill on Thursday.

So what does this mean for the Baltic region? Is there an arms race going on or are fears of a confrontation between Sweden and Russia overblown?

Radio Sweden spoke to Jörgen Elfving, a former lieutenant colonel and a Russia expert.

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