PM of Sweden says they’re open to hosting Nuclear Warheads; Russia says they’re ready for a fight

Brink-of-WWIII

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia warns it is ready for direct conflict if the West wants to fight for Ukraine on the battlefield – as Swedish PM says he is open to hosting nukes ‘in a war situation’
  • If the West wants to fight for Ukraine on the battlefield, Russia is prepared for it, the country’s foreign minister declared today.
  • ‘It’s their right – if they want it to be on the battlefield, it will be on the battlefield,’ Sergei Lavrov said in comments carried by Russia’s RIA Novosti.
  • His statement comes months after French President Emmanuel Macron refused to rule out the possibility that Western troops could one day be sent to Ukraine, and weeks ago said he could send troops if Russian forces break through the front lines.
  • Lavrov made the warning as Sweden’s Prime Minister said he would be willing to host Western nuclear weapons should war break out.
  • Leaked German documents have also suggested Berlin may be planning to introduce mandatory military service for men and women aged 18.
  • The war of words between Moscow and the West dialed up as Russian troops pummeled 30 towns in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region after launching a surprise ground offensive over the border last week.
  • RIA also cited him as saying that peace talks on Ukraine due to take place in Switzerland next month without Russia’s participation amounted to an ultimatum to Moscow.
  • He compared the situation to ‘a reprimand for a schoolchild’ whose fate was being decided by teachers while he was out of the room.
  • ‘You can’t talk to anyone like that, especially to us,’ Lavrov said. ‘The conference… boils down to restating an ultimatum to Russia.’

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As the Swedes raise flag at NATO headquarters Swedish fighter pilots scramble to intercept Russian warplanes over Baltic

Swedish-Jets-for-NATO

Important Takeaways:

  • Tense moment Swedish fighter jets intercept Russian warplanes over the Baltic Sea – on the day Scandinavian nation’s flag was raised at NATO HQ
  • Swedish fighter jets intercepted Russian warplanes over the Baltic Sea, marking a significant moment in their integration with NATO.
  • The Swedish JAS-39 Gripen jets stormed the skies in their first real-world mission alongside German and Belgian aircraft on Monday morning after their flag was hoisted at NATO headquarters, in Brussels.
  • Following Sweden’s official accession to the alliance on March 7, its multirole jets participated in their first visual identification mission as part of the NATO Air Policing mission over the Baltic Sea.
  • In a show of operational readiness, the JAS-39 Gripens were scrambled twice on March 11 to identify and intercept Russian military aircraft.
  • NATO’s Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at Uedem had spotted an unidentified track over the Baltic Sea stretching from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia – sparking controllers to launch the Swedish jets from Sweden.

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European banking sector: “A deteriorating operating environment with low economic growth”

Frankfurt-Germany

Important Takeaways:

  • Moody’s sours on banking sector outlooks for Germany, Britain and France
  • The credit rating agency Moody’s said on Thursday that it was downgrading its outlook for the banking sector in a number of European countries as weak economies erode profits.
  • It changed the outlook to negative from stable for the banking sectors of Germany, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Rising losses for unpaid loans and higher funding costs will chip away at profits, Moody’s said.
  • “A deteriorating operating environment with low economic growth and high borrowing costs will hit credit growth as well as loan performance in the largest European countries, particularly in the corporate sector,” said Moody’s analyst Effie Tsotsani.

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Sweden officially joins NATO; fighter jets get green light to carry nukes as tensions with Russia continue to escalate

F-35A-fighter-jet

Important Takeaways:

  • The F-35A Joint Strike Fighter has been certified to carry thermonuclear weapons as tensions between Russia and NATO hit a breaking point.
  • The F-35A Joint Strike Fighter has become the first stealth fighter of its class to be green-lit to carry nuclear weapons.
  • A spokesperson for the F-35 Joint Program Office told Breaking Defense: “The F-35A is the first 5th generation nuclear-capable aircraft ever, and the first new platform (fighter or bomber) to achieve this status since the early 1990s.
  • The move comes as tensions between NATO and Russia continue to escalate
  • On Thursday, Sweden officially joined the NATO alliance, breaking from decades of neutrality

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Civil Defense minister warns citizens ‘prepare for the end of 210 years of peace’ as country bids to join NATO

Europe-NATO-Members

Important Takeaways:

  • Sweden is warned to ‘brace for war’: Civil Defense minister tells citizens to ‘get moving’ and prepare for the end of 210 years of peace as country bids to join NATO in face of Russia tensions
  • Sweden’s civil defense minister has warned his country could soon face the prospect of war and urged citizens to join voluntary defense organizations in preparation for a potential armed conflict.
  • In a rousing speech that took note of his country’s hotly-anticipated accession to NATO this year and ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine, Carl-Oskar Bohlin called on ordinary citizens to ask themselves ‘who are you if war comes?’.
  • Speaking at Sweden’s annual ‘Folk och Försvar’ (Society and Defense) conference in Sälen this past weekend, the minister said: ‘It is human to want to view life as you wish it was, rather than as it actually is.
  • ‘For a nation for whom peace has been a pleasant companion for almost 210 years, the idea that it is an immovable constant is conveniently close at hand. But taking comfort in this conclusion has become more dangerous than it has been for a very long time.
  • ‘There could be war in Sweden… The world is facing a security outlook with greater risks than at any time since the end of the Second World War.
  • ‘Are you a private individual? Have you considered whether you have time to join a voluntary defense organization? If not: get moving!’ he declared.
  • It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Vladimir Putin would not stop at Ukraine and will attack other neighbors unless allies joined forces to stop him.

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Sweden seeks help from military to crack down on gangs

Gang-Violence-Sweden

Important Takeaways:

  • Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has blamed “irresponsible immigration policy and a failed integration” for the violence.
  • Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson was meeting the head of Sweden’s armed forces and the police chief on Friday to discuss ways to stem growing gang violence in the country
  • In September alone 12 people were killed in the wave of violence sweeping the country. One was killed in a bomb attack, and another 11 were shot dead in separate incidents.
  • “Sweden has never seen anything like this. No other country in Europe is seeing anything like this,” Kristersson said.
  • New laws will give police more power to combat gang activity, including wiretapping and body searches in certain areas, harsher sentences for repeat offenders, and double sentences for some crimes.
  • “We’ll put them on trial. If they are Swedish citizens they will be locked away with long prison sentences, and if they are foreigners they will be deported,” he said.
  • “We are going to deport foreigners who move in criminal gang circles even if they haven’t committed a crime,” he added.

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North Korea remains silent on US soldier who dashed across military border

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • U.S. ‘actively engaged’ in ensuring King’s safety – envoy
  • Private faced disciplinary action, due to fly back to the U.S.
  • North Korea remained silent on Thursday about a U.S. soldier who split from a tour group and made a dash across the heavily fortified border two days earlier, landing Washington in a new diplomatic quandary amid an already tense military standoff.
  • State Department spokesman Miller said Sweden has been engaged as it acts as a diplomatic channel for Washington which remains technically at war with North Korea.
  • “We are still trying to gather information here about the whereabouts of Private King,” he said. “The administration has and will continue to actively work to ensure his safety and return him home to his family.”
  • North Korea has previously detained Americans who entered the country and put them on trial but eventually released them, often following high-level diplomatic intervention. But incidents involving U.S. servicemen have been rare.
  • In a case that remains unexplained, an American college student Otto Warmbier was held for more than a year and was returned to the United States in a coma and died days later.

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As China and Russia announce a ‘no-limits partnership’ NATO embraces Asia-Pacific allies

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

    • Watching Asia-Pacific leaders mingle with their European counterparts at the annual NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, this week, U.S. strategists might well have lit up celebratory cigars.
    • While the media attention in Vilnius inevitably focused on the war in Ukraine, the fate of Sweden’s bid to join and other matters closer to home, the representation of major East Asian democracies at the Western military alliance gathering heralds a major shift, a sign of the rising unity of the U.S.-allied democracies on both flanks of the Eurasian landmass.
    • For the second straight year, leaders of the Asia-Pacific 4 (“AP4”) — Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea — turned up at NATO’s annual summit. The Japanese and South Korean militaries both rank in the world’s top 10 in the latest Global Firepower’s 2023 survey.
    • NATO leaders, in their final summit communique, wrote: “The Indo-Pacific is important for NATO, given that developments in that region can directly affect Euro-Atlantic security. … We welcome the contribution of our partners in … the region. We will further strengthen our dialogue and cooperation to tackle our shared security challenges.”
    • In a bit of diplomatic irony, it was the warming ties between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that helped accelerate the East-West coalition building against them.
    • “With China and Russia announcing a ‘no-limits partnership’ shortly before the invasion [of Ukraine]…the balancing coalitions at either end of Eurasia became strongly linked together,” said Joel Atkinson, an international politics professor at Seoul’s Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

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Vladimir threatens Sweden and Finland after joining NATO

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • VLAD’S APOCALYPSE Putin’s 3,000 die-hard troops launch nuke drills testing Yars missile as Kremlin threatens ‘legitimate’ Western target
  • Vladimir Putin is flexing his military muscle with his “invincible weapons” in three regions, showcasing his nuclear-capable Yars rockets – one of Moscow’s deadliest weapons.
  • Russia’s defense ministry said: “In total, more than 3,000 military personnel and about 300 pieces of equipment are involved in the exercises.
  • It comes as Russia today threatened Sweden and Finland over joining Nato, saying it would make the Nordic countries a “legitimate target for Russian retaliatory measures, including those of a military nature”.

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Joining forces as a single fleet Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark to deter Moscow

Norwegian F-35 fighter

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark struck a deal to run their 200+ advanced fighter jets as a single fleet, creating a new headache for Russia
  • The four Nordic countries agreed to operate their roughly 250 fighter jets in one fleet.
  • Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, have modern air forces that include F-35s.
  • They joined forces hoping to deter Russia.
  • “The ultimate goal is to be able to operate seamlessly together as one force by developing a Nordic concept for joint air operations based on already known NATO methodology,” Denmark’s air force said in a statement, per Bloomberg.
  • “Our combined fleet can be compared to a large European country,” commander of the Danish air force, Major General Jan Dam, told Reuters.

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