Drone Flights Over Nuclear Plants Prompt Swedish Investigation
(Bloomberg) -- Swedish authorities escalated an investigation into suspect drone activity at its nuclear power plants, citing increased security risks for the largest Nordic nation.
Sweden’s security service took over the probe after local media reported an unidentified “large” drone flying over the Forsmark power plant on Sweden’s east coast, as well as near nuclear power plants in Ringhals and Oskarshamn -- both in southern Sweden -- on Friday. Public broadcaster SVT cited police as saying a drone had been seen again at the Forsmark plant on Monday afternoon.
The security police would investigate the incidents “in more detail,” it said in a statement earlier on Monday. Security threats against Sweden have grown “in general,” while there is a “broader and deeper intelligence threat,” it added.
A police spokesperson told the Expressen tabloid that the drone seen over Forsmark was able to maneuver despite strong winds in the area, and a pursuing police helicopter lost track of it over sea. Drones have also been seen flying in Stockholm over the Royal Castle, the government’s offices and the parliament over the weekend, media reported.
Sweden, which isn’t a member of NATO, last week announced its military was reallocating resources, including boosting presence at the strategic Baltic island of Gotland. Security concerns have grown across the Nordic region as Russia is in a worsening standoff with the U.S. and President Vladimir Putin has demanded guarantees that NATO would not enlarge further east.
Read More: Swedish Backing For NATO Membership Is Growing, Polls Show
Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the war that ensued in eastern Ukraine, tensions also surged in the Baltic Sea, with reports of airspace violations and increased naval activity in the area. Sweden later that year underwent its largest mobilization since the Cold War amid a hunt for an underwater vessel in the Stockholm archipelago that its media linked to Russia. No clear evidence was found.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.