Sweden to send 800 military to Latvia to defend against possible Russian aggression

Sweden is set to send 800 military personnel to Latvia after joining NATO to guard the country’s border and deter Russia from attack, the kingdom’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has said.

“The government has decided that a reduced Swedish battalion will take part in the Canadian-led [NATO] force in Latvia”, Kristersson said, adding that this could happen as early as early 2025.

The P7 Regiment, which is currently stationed in southern Sweden near the city of Lund, will be sent to Latvia. The Swedish military will go to defend the Latvian-Russian border with armored vehicles. This could include AMV 360 multipurpose wheeled armored vehicles, Stridsfordon 90 infantry fighting vehicles and possibly Leopard tanks.

The Swedish regiment will be part of the Enhanced Froward Presence (EFP, NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence) force, under which various North Atlantic Alliance member states station their troops in the bloc’s easternmost countries for short periods of time. The EFP force in Latvia is led by Canada and has more than 2,000 troops.

On the eve, the supreme commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Mikael Büden and Swedish Civil Defense Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin urged citizens not to rely on more than 200 years of peace and to be prepared for the threat of war.

Bulin reminded citizens of Ukraine, which resisted a full-scale invasion by Russia in February 2022. It was Russian aggression that prompted Stockholm to apply to join NATO. Finland, which has already become a member of the alliance, did the same. Sweden, however, had difficulties with the approval of its application by Turkey and Hungary, which have not yet ratified the country’s entry into the military alliance.

Earlier, experts of the German Society for Foreign Policy (DGAP) urged NATO countries to prepare for a possible military conflict with Russia in the next 6–10 years. In their opinion, it will take Moscow about that long to rebuild its army to attack NATO after the end of intensive hostilities in Ukraine. At the same time, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia could become victims of Russia’s aggression.

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