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British Ambassador on nuclear criticism from Sweden: “Good conversation – but different perspectives”

On Wednesday, the Swedish Foreign Minister met his British counterpart. Then the Swedish government performed that “the British announcement of an increase in the ceiling of the country’s nuclear arsenal is a clear step in the wrong direction”.

Was it a protest from Sweden?

– I do not go into security policy talks that have taken place behind closed doors, and Britain’s deterrent arsenal is a sensitive issue. But as I said, it should be assumed that we will be able to have good and exhaustive conversations about these things, even where we have different perspectives, says Ambassador Judith Gough.

Tweet by Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde (S) after the meeting with the British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab. Photo: Twitter

In it new British strategy, which was presented on March 16, the ceiling is raised to 260 warheads, which SVT reported. The British, however, claim that they have the same long-term goals as Sweden.

– And as close partners, we can of course have sincere conversations. But again, I would say that we share the same goal here, namely that both our countries want to work for a world without nuclear weapons, says Ambassador Judith Gough.

The nuclear-carrying British submarine HMS Victorious calls at the naval base in Devonport. Photo: Crown Copyright

“Very very close”

Gough emphasizes several times Sweden’s very close military relations.

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– I believe that it is clear in the defense and security policy policy that we announced last week that we see Sweden as a very close partner.

But not an ally?

– “Allied” is a word that we usually reserve for members of NATO. But as I said, we have a very, very close cooperation with Sweden and it is very gratifying that we can now intensify the military cooperation, especially within the framework of the Joint Expeditionary Force but also through the Northern Group, she says.

Estimated number of nuclear warheads in the UK, according to Federation of American Scientists (FAS) experts. Photo: SVT Design / FAS

“Immediate threat”

It’s a secret how many warheads the British have. Gouch does not believe that this is an increase of 40 percent because the “target” was 180 warheads. Now it is a new roof, she states. However, there is again doubt as to which country is singled out as the main threat.

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– We see an immediate threat from Russia. And of course we continue to conduct a rigorous security cooperation with our partners and allies, from the Baltic Sea down to the Black Sea. I believe that our commitment in the Baltic Sea Region is very clear.

Is Sweden covered by a British nuclear umbrella?

“The key is that Britain would only consider using nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances, and then in self-defense and in defense of our allies in NATO,” said Ambassador Gough.

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This is how a nuclear weapon works

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