Swedish parliamentary defence committee to meet earlier amid Russian escalation – EURACTIV.com

Swedish parliament’s defence committee will meet on Monday following Russia’s announcement to partially mobilise, in a session taking place earlier than planned as political parties are still negotiating a ruling coalition.

In the wake of the September general elections, the new parliamentary committees would not be in place until early October as the Swedish parliament (the Riksdag) is currently in a transition process.

But according to Pål Jonsson, chairman of the defence committee, it must be convened now, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a massive mobilisation of Russian troops means that the process of strengthening Sweden’s total defence must be sped up.

“I think there is reason for the military intelligence and security services to have a draw about what effect this will have. We are trying to get it done as quickly as possible,” he told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Thursday.

He added that the full Swedish and Finnish integration into NATO becomes more important in light of the security situation and the aggression we see taking place.

In Monday’s meeting, the committee will also discuss how to support Ukraine following the news from Russia.

A decision should be taken to send the Archer advanced artillery system to Ukraine, as TV4 News revealed, which is something the government’s Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist has been hesitant about.

“It is important that Sweden, together with other countries, continues to help Ukraine,” MP Mikael Oscarsson (KD) told the channel.

In a speech to the Russian nation on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country is reinforcing its troops with another powerful mobilisation. According to Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoygu, this will involve 300 000 new troops.

(Charles Szumski | EURACTIV.com) 

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