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Sweden's search for unknown submarine raises tensions in Baltic region

October 20, 2014, 16:47 UTC+3 LUXEMBOURG
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Vallstrom told reporters on Monday it is necessary to take a sober approach and trust the country’s armed forces that are doing their work
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© EPA/MARKO SAAVALA

LUXEMBOURG, October 20. /TASS/. The serach for an unknown submarine near Sweden's shores that has lasted for over three days already, reminded of the Cold war and has raised tensions in the Baltic region, the Financial Times web-edition reported Monday.

The search involving hundreds of servicemen, vessels and helicopters calls up the memories of chases after Soviet submarines in the 1980's, the article reads.

The national Armed Forces say an unknown submarine is staying neat Sweden’s coast. The Swedish government so far has not named the country that could have violated the country’s borders.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Vallstrom told reporters on Monday ahead of the meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg that it is necessary to take a sober approach and trust the country’s armed forces that are doing their work. She said she is confident that they will do their job.

A Russian Defense Ministry source told TASS on Monday that the Swedish side’s search for a Russian submarine in the Baltic Sea was to no avail, because there was no Russian submarine there.

“On Sunday, October 19, the Russian Defense Ministry provided assistance wherever possible to the Swedes in their unsuccessful search, saying that there were no incidents with Russian warships [in the Baltic Sea], including submarines,” the source said. “In principle, the very fact of this official statement should have made the Swedish navy command understand that they were possibly mistaken.”

“For easing tension in the Baltic Sea and saving Swedish taxpayers’ money, we would advise [the Swedish side] to request explanations from the Dutch Navy command,” the source said. The thing is, he added, that during the last week the Dutch Walrus-class diesel-electric submarine Bruinvis was engaged in drills not far from Stockholm. The drills included emergency ascent the photos of which got into the Swedish press.

“On October 17, the Dutch submarine Bruinvis called at Tallinn port (Estonia) and today will possibly sail back. We cannot but hope that this information will help Swedish media find it [the sub] on the voyage back to a naval base in the Netherlands,” the Russian Defense Ministry source said.

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