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Swedish Minister for Defence highlights deteriorating security situation in Baltic Sea Region in opening speech to NATO Parliamentary Assembly

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The NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s 2021 Spring Session, hosted by the Swedish Riksdag, opened today with introductory remarks from Sweden’s Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist. He emphasised the importance of transatlantic relations to the security of Europe, and how Russia is challenging the European security order.

Photo: Johan Raeder/Government Offices of Sweden

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s mission is to facilitate understanding of key issues affecting the security of the Euro-Atlantic area. The Parliamentary Assembly holds two sessions each year – in the spring and autumn.

The Swedish Riksdag is hosting the 2021 Spring Session as a virtual event on 14–17 May. In his opening remarks, Sweden’s Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist highlighted the deteriorating security situation in the Baltic Sea Region.

“We are all witnessing the situation. Russia is intentionally challenging the European security order and breaking international law. Russia’s actions in Georgia in 2008, and in Ukraine since 2014, demonstrate its willingness to use military means to achieve its objectives,” said Mr Hultqvist.

He explained that the deteriorating regional security situation has prompted Sweden to strengthen its national defence and international defence cooperation.

“Sweden is not a member of any military alliance, but we work together with others to build security,” said Mr Hultqvist.

“Strong transatlantic relations are critical to Europe’s security. The United States, Canada, and Europe must work together to uphold and defend the European security order.”

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is a forum for members of parliament from NATO Member Delegations and Associate Delegations. The Swedish Riksdag has been an Associate Delegation since 2003.