The Swedish military has announced plans to conduct its largest joint military drill with Nato in 20 years.
As reported by The Independent, the exercises will be conducted in the air, on land and at sea. They will take place across the entire country but will focus on the Mälardalen Valley, the areas around cities of Stockholm and Gothenberg and on the strategic island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
More than 19,000 Swedish troops will take part along with 1,435 soldiers from the US, 270 from Finland, 120 from France and between 40-60 each from Denmark, Norway, Lithuania and Estonia.
News of the exercises has not been well received in Russia. In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “If Sweden joins Nato this will affect our relations in a negative way because we will consider that the infrastructure of the military bloc now approaches us from the Swedish side… We will interpret that as an additional threat for Russia and we will think about how to eliminate this threat.”