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Sweden ends search for unknown submarine near Stockholm Archipelago

October 24, 2014, 12:41 UTC+3 STOCKHOLM
The operation failed to identify the type, nationality or form of a foreign country’s operation
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© AP Photo/Fredrik Sandberg

STOCKHOLM, October 24. /TASS/. The Swedish armed forces’ nearly week-long operation launched in an attempt to identify what has been described as “foreign underwater activity” near the Stockholm Archipelago has ended inconclusively, the operation's commander, Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad, told a news conference on Friday morning.

“The armed forces are of the opinion foreign intelligence activity did take place. The operation failed to identify the type, nationality or form of a foreign country’s operation,” he said.

“We have never pointed to a specific country,” Grenstad added.

He declared that the operation had cost an equivalent of  €2.2 million. Fire-fighters spend approximately as much during one weak to deal with forest fires, Grenstad said.

The search for “foreign underwater activity”, which had continued in the Stockholm Archipelago since October 17, was terminated at 08.00 local time on Friday.

Some local media claimed that the submarine was Russian. The Svenska Dagbladet daily speculated the submarine in question might have been in distress.

A source at the Russian Defence ministry earlier told TASS in the wake of reports of an allegedly disabled submarine the search was unsuccessful because there was none. The official urged Sweden to pay attention to the Dutch diesel-electric submarine Bruinvis, which last week practiced various manoeuvres, including emergency surfacing, near Stockholm. Photos of that submarine were leaked to the Swedish press.

Nine countries have access to the Baltic Sea. Alongside Sweden they are Russia, Germany, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Estonia. Only four - Russia, Germany, Poland and Sweden - have submarine fleets.

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