The Swedish military launched a major search operation after sightings of an unidentified vessel. Russia denies it its submarine.
1. If it is indeed a Russian submarine, how serious is this incident in your opinion, is it a reminder of Cold War times?
2. Should Sweden publicly Russia ask for an explanation in case Stockholm would be sure it is a Russian submarine?
Ingmar Oldberg, Research Associate, Swedish Institute of International Affairs
1. If proven it would be very serious, like at the incident of the stranded Soviet submarine in 1981 at the height of the Cold War. However, it may be very difficult to get full certainty about the object and its nationality as in many cases after 1981. But the suspicions naturally go to Russia because of 1981 and the numerous air incidents and violations throughout this year and Russia´s hostile rhetoric towards the West, NATO and the EU in recent years.
2. If proven, Sweden will certainly produce a serious official protest and take measures. In any case, Sweden will take measures to strengthen its defence and its border incident preparedness. This is probably not what Russia wants from Sweden.