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Russian Foreign Ministry responds to Swedish general's criticism

The Russian Foreign Ministry says it's NATO's growing activity in the Baltic Sea that forces Russia to hold exercises and surprise army checks
Russia's military drills in the Baltic (archive) Vladimir Rodionov/ITAR-TASS
Russia's military drills in the Baltic (archive)
© Vladimir Rodionov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, September 8 /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized the Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Armed Forces General Mikael Boden for claiming that Russia bore the bulk of responsibility for worsening security on the Swedish borders in a report to the Swedish government.

"We have emphasized many times that our country has no intention to threaten anybody militarily or politically. Exercises and surprise checks of the Russian army’s combat readiness have been a forced measure and a reaction to NATO’s multifold increase of military activities, including in the Baltic Sea," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"How can the Swedish general’s remarks measure up against the official statistics of the Swedish Armed Forces, which have registered seven violations of the country’s national borders by NATO planes and ships since the start of this year and not a single incident involving the Russian Armed Forces," the Russian Foreign Ministry asked.

The ministry added that Russia had constantly informed the Swedish partners that it was ready to conduct a direct dialogue on all the problems, including Sweden’s regional security concerns.

"Nevertheless, official Stockholm continues avoiding any meaningful talk and is refusing from any discussions preferring to make unfounded statements, which are deluding its own population," the Russian Foreign Ministry concluded.