Sweden increases military spending and reintroduces conscription as Russia tensions mount

Scandinavian nation's armed forces receive £190 million in additional funding under cross-party agreement to bolster defences against threat posed by neighbouring superpower

Johan Sennero
Monday 21 August 2017 07:07
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Sweden's military has said it needs the money to rebuild its strength after years of under investment
Sweden's military has said it needs the money to rebuild its strength after years of under investment

Sweden's centre-left minority government has agreed with two opposition parties to boost military spending in the 2018 budget as the country faces increased tension with Russia in the Baltics.

Sweden's armed forces will get around kr2bn (£190mn) extra in the 2018 budget and around kr6bn (£575mn) during the 2018-2020 period in the deal between the Social Democrat and Green Party coalition and the opposition Moderate and Centre parties, Swedish Radio reported.

Sweden's military has said it needs the money to rebuild its strength after years of under investment and greater demands on its operational capabilities.

The armed forces called for kr9bn (£862mn) in extra spending during 2017-2020 period.

Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist will hold a press conference later on Wednesday.

The budget for 2018 – an election year – will be presented on 20 September.

Sweden has reintroduced conscription and restored troops to the strategically key Baltic island of Gotland as it looks to bolster its defences.

It has also been drawing closer to Nato, although the government has ruled out becoming a member of the alliance.

Reuters

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