Putin has ‘eyes’ on Gotland, Swedish army chief warns – POLITICO

“I’m sure Putin has his eyes on Gotland. Putin’s goal is to control the Baltic Sea,” Biden, the commander-in-chief of the Swedish armed forces, said. He told the newspapers of the German editorial network RND.

“If Russia takes control and closes the Baltic Sea, it will have a huge impact on our lives — in Sweden and all the other countries bordering the Baltic Sea. We cannot allow that,” Biden said. “The Baltic Sea must not become Putin’s playground where he terrorizes NATO members.”

Russian oil tankers have been present recently Sweden’s exclusive economic zone is off the east coast of Jutland. Estimated A fleet of 1,400 ships They operate outside the formal maritime sector and are not officially part of any armed forces, so NATO has little power to act. Sweden last month He said The European Commission will discuss ways to deal with the Russian oil fleet in light of the upcoming sanctions package.

After it was demilitarized in 2005, Sweden reintroduced permanent forces to Jutland In 2016after Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula in 2014. It also became Sweden NATO’s newest member in March – Which means that this is covered by Article 5 of the alliance which ensures that all other members defend each other if they are attacked.

But this did little to prevent Putin from provoking Russia’s Baltic neighbors.

If Putin invades Jutland, he could threaten NATO countries from the sea. “This will be the end of peace and stability in the Nordic and Baltic regions,” Biden said.

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