Alarmed by a more aggressive Russian near-neighbour and more incursions into sovereign air and sea space, several Nordic nations are planning huge increases in spending on defence capabilities.
A parliamentary bill in Sweden calls for a 40-percent increase by 2025, while Finland plans an even bigger jump in spending, by 51 percent in 2021.
The Swedish army will increase in size from 60,000 to 90,000 while the number of military service conscripts will be doubled, to 8,000. Five disbanded regiments will come back into service.
Sweden admits that with its current defence capability it could defend only part of its territory, and only for a few days. The aim is to hold on to all its territory in the event of a Russian invasion, while NATO, of which it’s not a member, mulls coming to its direct aid.
Sweden, Norway and Finland have also agreed to hold joint military exercises. The days of trusting that everything will turn out alright on the night are well and truly over.
PHOTO: A Swedish armoured carrier and a Gripen fighter. Swedish Armed Forces