Swedish secret service warns of Russian espionage and sabotage
Stockholm The Swedish news service Säpo expects increasing Russian secret service activities in the country. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has fundamentally changed the European security order and the security situation in Sweden, Säpo said on Tuesday.
The agency warned that Russia is increasingly seeking information through Russian citizens, institutions and companies in Sweden, as well as cyber attacks, and could use sabotage, disinformation and violent extremists to destabilize Swedish society.
The Säpo wrote that espionage and sabotage had to be avoided particularly in the energy supply, telecommunications and the transport of critical goods. Attacks against Sweden in these sectors could also mean damage to the rest of Europe.
“The actions of the Russian regime are unpredictable and Russia also poses a serious threat to Sweden’s internal security,” said Säpo boss Charlotte von Essen. You have to look at this threat from the perspective that Russia sees Sweden as part of Europe and also part of NATO. “We can expect Russian anti-security activities against Sweden to increase,” she noted.
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Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO in May 2022. 28 of the 30 NATO members have ratified this, but the process is currently stuck due to a blockade by Turkey.
>> Read here: Sabotage against trains and pipelines – how endangered is Germany’s critical infrastructure?
At the end of September, a total of four leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were discovered after explosions near the Danish Baltic Sea island of Bornholm. They were in international waters in the Exclusive Economic Zones of Denmark and Sweden.
Säpo and the Swedish public prosecutor determined in November that it was a matter of serious sabotage – but without naming a culprit.