Monday, October 20, 2014

Global Impact: Search for Submarine is an Indication Just How Perilous the Baltic Sea Is

According to AFP, the Swedish Navy widened the search on Monday (October 20) for a suspected foreign submarine as speculation mounted over the origin of the mystery vessel.

"There's an increase in military exercises from both the Russian and the NATO side," Prime Minister Stefan Loefven said, speaking at a press conference in Helsinki.

The search was being extended southwards to the open sea about 70 kilometers (44 miles) southeast of Stockholm, as the PM said that more military exercises were being carried out in the Baltic Sea.

"There's no reason for exaggerated concern here, but obviously we are aware of what's happening in the Baltic Sea because it's our neighborhood," Loefven said.

COMMENT: As the search expanded, the military warned the public for the first time to keep a distance of at least 10 kilometers (six miles) from the search operation.

Since the armed forces received a tip-off about a "man-made object" on Friday (October 17), more than 200 men, several stealth ships, minesweepers and helicopters have combed the sea around islands close to the Swedish capital.

Speculation has been rife over the origin of the vessel, with a Swedish media report suggesting that it might be a Russian U-boat, a claim dismissed by Sweden's military.

Russia instead pointed the finger at the Netherlands, saying that the mystery submarine may be Dutch.

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