Military activity from Russia and NATO member countries is back at Cold War levels over the Baltic Sea. The West alleged that Russia has increased its deployment of reconnaissance planes over the Baltic Sea as well as underwater military activity involving submarines. NATO was compelled to scour its war jets for policing mission. On the other hand, Russia argued that NATO has initially increased its reconnaissance flights near its borders.
Sweden warns of a new Cold War
Sweden said that close calls between Russia and NATO over the Baltics have reached a peak that was last seen during the Cold War. Russia will scramble its spy planes and NATO in retaliation will scour fighter jets for policing mission.
“We are back pretty much on the level where we were in the late 1980s and early 1990s,” Colonel Marcus Bjorkgren, chief of staff of the Swedish Air Force, told Reuters.
In January, Sweden mobilized its stealth ships and helicopters to look for a Russian submarine coursing the borders of the Stockholm archipelago. Rear Admiral Jan Thornqvist, chief of staff of the Swedish navy, said that it was the biggest military mobilization in Sweden since the Cold War era.
“We have 100 percent proof that at least one submarine or underwater vehicle came far into Swedish territory. We realise we are back more or less to the scenario as it appeared in the 1980s and early 1990s and have to be able to handle that kind of threat,” Thornqvist said.
NATO conducts anti-submarine warfare exercises
On May 4 2015, NATO announced an anti-submarine warfare exercises to be held in the North Sea. More than a dozen surface vessels and four submarines from ten country allies have joined the exercise. Sweden joined the exercise for the first time this year.
Germany, Norway, Sweden and the United States have sent their submarines to participate in the exercise dubbed as “Dynamic Mongoose.” Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the U.S. are also sending their surface warships.
“It will allow us to exercise our anti-submarine warfare capabilities in a complex and challenging environment,” said Rear Admiral Brad Williamson, Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.
“The presence of NATO in Norwegian waters will enhance interoperability and will allow NATO to familiarize with Norwegian waters,” said Commodore Ole Morten Sandquist, Commander of the Norwegian fleet.
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