Sweden Preparing for Nuclear War with Russia using US Missiles?

publicerad 16 maj 2024
- Kristoffer Hell
Hans Blix, Ulf Kristeersson och Anthony Blinken
Hans Blix, Ulf Kristeersson and Anthony Blinken.

In an interview on Swedish Public Radio on 13 May 2024, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson informed the nation that Sweden, as the only country in the Nordic region, may host US nuclear weapons. The risk of this happening is not the result of Sweden’s membership in NATO but rather the result of the bilateral DCA agreement between Sweden and the United States of America.

The Swedish government embracing nuclear weapons is just as momentous a break from the Nordic consensus of keeping the region a nuclear weapons-free zone as ejecting 200 years of non-aligned neutrality is.

Despite the Prime Minister’s difficulties in answering radio host Pia Fridén’s questions, it eventually seemed clear that any deployment of nuclear weapons depends on whether Sweden lives in “times of war” (Swedish: “krigstid”) or not.

The PM also told the audience that it is always the Swedish government and parliament that have the final say on any deployment of nuclear weapons.

Listening to the interview, it seems the question boils down to this: Is Sweden at the present experiencing “times of war”?

Ukraine’s Cause is Ours

The statement below was made by Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde, on 16 February 2022, eight days before Russian troops entered eastern Ukraine in order to protect the ethnic Russian population there from continued abuse by the Zelensky regime in Kiev, which was the fallout of the coup orchestrated by the CIA in 2014:

The government does not intend to apply for membership in NATO. The security policy trajectory [of our nation] remains firm. Our military non-alignment serves us well and contributes to stability and security in northern Europe.

Four months later, on June 10, 2024, after the governments of Sweden and Finland jointly had decided to apply for membership in NATO, Linde said this:

“A new dark chapter has opened in Europe’s history. […] Ukraine’s legal right to self-defense is in practice a defense of all [other] countries’ territory. Including Sweden’s.”

Linde’s statement echoes Sweden’s World War II slogan “Finland’s cause is ours”, with the difference that Ukraine is a rather far away place, while Finland is Sweden’s next-door neighbour that for many centuries were an integral part of Sweden, and happily so.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson’s address to the nation on 7 March 2024:

“There has never been any doubt about where Sweden would turn in the event of war.”

After hearing this, perhaps one might be forgiven for believing that the reason Sweden joined NATO was, in fact, because its government, since 2022, considers itself living in “times of war.”

Would it then really be a surprise if the United States of America, the Swedish public unbeknownst, is already deploying nuclear weapons in Scandinavia?

During the Cold War, the government of Sweden lied about the country being neutral. In 2024, it seems to have started to lie about US nuclear weapons based in Scandinavia.

Vote of No Confidence or Ratification?

Toward the end of the interview, PM Ulf Kristersson emphasized that “unilateral” (Swedish: “ensidiga”) government propositions and parliamentary votes on the DCA agreement carry more weight than the DCA agreement itself, meaning that the Swedish government and parliament decide in each individual case whether nuclear weapons can or cannot be allowed and deployed in Sweden—regardless of what the DCA itself stipulates.

NewsVoice asked Swedish veteran diplomat and disarmament expert Hans Blix for a comment:

“A country cannot defend a breach of an international duty (according to agreements or general international law) in an international court by arguing that its domestic law requires the action.

Every country is expected to adapt its national legal system so that it can fulfil the obligations it has undertaken in international agreements.”

In other words, if the DCA agreement does not explicitly give Swedish authorities the right to intervene, inspect, and seize or reject certain American weapon systems when they are brought into, or deployed in, the country, then this right does not exist.

So, when Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson, on 13 May 2024, addressed the nation and broached the reality of the DCA agreement and US nuclear weapons on Swedish territory, he was not really forthcoming about the reality of the situation.

What will the Swedish parliament do when it, in June 2024, votes on the DCA-treaty?

Will the parlamentarians obediently and retroactively rubber-stamp the DCA agreement—colloquially described as an instrument of surrender—or will they surprise the world by bringing a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson for his (mis)handling of the matter?

Excerpt from the interview on 13 May 2024:

 

US nukes in Sweden – How serious is the situation?

The maps below highlight the change in the military balance in the Nordics between 2022 and 2024, after Sweden’s accession to NATO and the bilateral DCA agreement between Washington and Stockholm.

US and NATO nukes in Europe 2022. Image: K. Hell
US and NATO nukes in Europe 2022. Image: K. Hell

 

US and NATO nukes in Europe 2024. Image: K. Hell
US and NATO nukes in Europe 2024. Image: K. Hell

A crucial factor in a nuclear war is the question of who strikes first.

A consequence of the destructive power of nuclear weapons is the fear that the party who strikes first may possibly be the only one able to use their nuclear weapons.

The list below shows the distance between Moscow, the capital of the Russian Federation, and capitals in NATO countries hosting nuclear weapons from the United States.

  • Stockholm — Moscow: 763 mi (1,227 km)
  • Berlin — Moscow: 1,003 mi (1,615 km)
  • Istanbul — Moscow: 1,091 mi (1,757 km)
  • Rome — Moscow: 1,476 mi (2,375 km)
  • London — Moscow: 1,554 mi (2,500 km)

Empowered by the DCA agreement with Sweden, the US and NATO have gained the capability to strike targets inside Russia with reduced response times, particularly against the important Russian naval base Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula, as well as its Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad.

The distance between the town of Kiruna in northernmost Sweden and Russia’s Murmansk is 334 miles (540 kilometres), and between the Swedish island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad is 168 miles (270 kilometres).

How does the changed situation affect military assessments and plans in the Pentagon and Moscow?

 

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