Sweden reopens military conscription amid Russia's Baltic military drills, - BBC

Swedish MPs backed the country's government decision to reintroduce military conscription.

The decision means that 4,000 men and women will be called up for service from Jan. 1, 2018, a defense ministry spokeswoman told the BBC, Censor.NET reports.

They will be selected from about 13,000 young people born in 1999, who will be asked to undergo a military assessment, Marinette Nyh Radebo said. The conscripts will serve for nine to 12 months. The aim is to encourage them either to become military professionals or, later, to join the reserves.

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Non-aligned Sweden is worried about Russia's Baltic military drills.

In September, a Swedish garrison was restored to Gotland, a big island lying between the Swedish mainland and the three ex-Soviet Baltic states.

Ms Nyh Radebo said the return to conscription was prompted by "the security change in our neighborhood".

"The Russian illegal annexation of Crimea [in 2014], the conflict in Ukraine and the increased military activity in our neighborhood are some of the reasons," she said.

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Ms Nyh Radebo said that "70% of parliament is behind the decision to strengthen the military and co-operation with the countries around us".

The closest co-operation is with Finland, she added.

Sweden and Finland are not in NATO, but co-operate closely with the alliance. Their Nordic neighbors Norway and Denmark are NATO members.

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n430353